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Tuesday April 16th, 2024

Sri Lanka Health Minister declares no more community spread of COVID 19

Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Health Minister is declaring that for the past three weeks no COVID 19 positive cases have been reported from the general public and that indicates there is no more community transmission of the virus.

Addressing a media briefing on May 20, Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said all the cases have been reported from either Quarantine Centres or the Welisara Navy Camp.

The Sri Lanka Navy cluster of COVID 19 patients has produced 578 infected persons and 221 of them have been discharged from hospital after being cured, Army Commander and head of the COVID 19 Task Force Lt General Shavendra Silva said.

The Director-General of Health Services Dr Anil Jasinghe said that the Health Department had laid down strict guidelines for the Welisara Navy camp to prevent more persons becoming infected.

Some of the Navy personnel from the camp had been moved to quarantine centres and had been detected as infected in the centres, he said.

Jasinghe appealed to the general public to continue to adhere to the guidelines to maintain social distancing and hand hygiene at all times.

He also warned that the danger of dengue fever is rising because of the rainy weather and communities have to be aware of the danger.

“COVID 19 can spread because we have to maintain personal hygiene and practice social distancing but dengue spreads because of communal neglect and bad practice,” he said.

The Army Commander also said several flights carrying Sri Lankan students from Russia and surrounding countries are due to arrive starting today.

No flights came yesterday. (Colombo May 20, 2020)

Reported by Arjuna Ranawana

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IMF urged Sri Lanka to preserve “hard earned gains” after economic crisis: State FinMin

ECONOMYNEXT – The International Monetary Fund has urged Sri Lanka to preserve the hard earned gains after an unprecedented economic crisis under the global lender’s programme, State Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe said.

The Sri Lankan delegation led by Shehan Semasinghe met Kenji Okamura, the Deputy Managjng Director of the IMF on the first day of the IMF and  World Bank Spring meeting.

“Mr. Okamura commended the Sri Lankan authorities on strong programme implementation and excellent reform progress. He emphasised the need to preserve the hard earned gains Sri Lanka has experienced since the beginning of the IMF programme and continue strong ownership,” the State Minister said in his X (Twitter) platform.

He said the Sri Lankan delegation including Central Bank Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe and Secretary to the Treasury Mahinda Siriwardana explained the recent socio-economic developments to Okamura.

He also affirmed the IMF top official on the authorities’ commitment to ensuring continuity and consistency of macroeconomic policies and reforms undertaken under the programme. (Colombo/April 16/2024)

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Sri Lanka State FinMin meets BCIU in US; discusses post-crisis investment prospects 

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s State Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe met Business Council for International Understanding( BCIU) in Washington on the sideline of the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings late on Monday and discussed investment prospects in the island nation which is gradually recovering from an unprecedented economic crisis.
“Our discussion centered on the potential that Sri Lanka offers for international investors. Explored various sectors, including education, tourism, renewable energy, agriculture and technology, where strategic investments can drive sustainable economic growth and development,” Semasinghe said in his X (Twitter) platform. 
“We reviewed the current macro-economic landscape of Sri Lanka, including recent reforms that have transformed to results. Glad to concluded the forum by marking constructive dialogue and a shared commitment to support the economic development of Sri Lanka.” 
“We thank participants, stakeholders holders and global partners for the significant interest shown in unlocking the full potential of the Sri Lankan economy and fostering greater international understanding and cooperation.” (Colombo/April 16/2024) 
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India allows Sri Lanka to import 10,000MT of onions

ECONOMYNEXT – India has relaxed an export ban allowing 10,000 metric tonnes of onions to be shipped to Sri Lanka, the Indian High Commission in Colombo said.

“The exemption for Sri Lanka reiterated India’s Neighbourhood First policy, adding to the Sinhala and Tamil New Year festivities here,” the statement said.

Onion prices went up in Sri Lanka after India and Pakistan banned exports.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade has issued a notice allowing National Co-operative Exports Limited to ship 10,000 MT of onions.

The UAE has also been allowed to import 10,000MT of onions on top of 24,400MT already permitted.

A large Indian and South Asian expat community lives in the UAE. (Colombo/Apr15/2024)

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