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Friday August 19th, 2022

Sri Lanka health minister tests positive, shatters Covid cure claims

Health Minister Wanniarachchi consumes the potion as Indigenous Medicine Minister Sisira Jayakody and the Shaman Dhammika Bandara watch

ECONOMYNEXT – Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi who banked on black magic and sorcery to protect herself and Sri Lankans from the pandemic has been infected with Covid-19, officials said today after two tests.

The 56-year-old was asked to go into isolation on Friday after an antigen test showed she was infected. A PCR test confirmed she was infected despite publicly consuming a shaman’s potion touted as a vaccine as well as a cure against the coronavirus.

“After the antigen test result came in positive, the minister has been asked to isolate herself pending the PCR test results,” an official close to the minister said. “The PCR test result came in today and that is also positive.”

A mason-turned-miracle maker in Kegalle claimed that Goddess Kaali appeared to him in a dream and dictated the recipe for his syrup to save humanity from the coronavirus. He claims it has four ingredients, two of which are honey and nutmeg.

Health Minister Wanniarachchi endorsed the potion publicly by consuming it in front of cameras in December. It was also given to parliament Speaker and several government legislators.

Former mason Dhammika Bandara claimed that his preparation gives life-long immunity and was also a cure for Covid-19.

Within hours of the health minister testing positive, the government announced approving the AstraZenica-Oxford vaccine for emergency use in Sri Lanka in the first step to a mass inoculation.

Pro-government television channels gave wide publicity to the sorcerer’s concoction which was considered a cheaper alternative to a vaccine.

Some even misleadingly called Bandara a smart Ayurveda physician, only to trigger a barrage of protests from genuine practitioners of indigenous medicine who insisted that the shaman was not one of them.

Wanniarachchi was photographed slurping a table spoon of the concoction, now known as the “Dhammika Paniya.”

Health authorities have approved it as a “food supplement.”

Wanniarachchi becomes the highest ranking person in Sri Lanka’s health sector to contract the virus. However, she is not the first person to test positive for the virus after taking the mason’s mixture.

Women and Child Development minister Piyal Nishantha de Silva tested positive last week.

He was one of the government legislators to gulp the syrup along with Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena.

Three other parliamentarians – Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Dayasiri Jayasekara and Rauff Hakeem – have contracted the virus.

Exactly a month earlier in November, health minister Wanniarachchi reverently dropped a pot of “miracle water” into the Kalu river after another self-styled godman, Eliyantha White, claimed that water blessed by him could end the spread of the virus across the country.

Wanniarachchi was so confident of White’s miraculous water, she took off her mask at the ritualistic pot-throwing in the company of her security personnel.

Since November, the number of infections in the country have shot up from 11,000 to over 56,800. The number of deaths have increased from 20 to 278 by Friday. (COLOMBO, January 23, 2021)

Comments (5)

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  1. sacre blieu says:

    Have always maintained that, in todays politics, if any politician puts his or her finger into something good, one can be sure that it will be destroyed. Stunning encroachment on even the all important subject of health.

  2. vini says:

    the pot must have carried corona right around until it ended on the Indian ocean

  3. Ibn Yousef says:

    Even those who took the vaccine have tested +ve to PCR tests

  4. Jayantha says:

    When are we going to come out of the label of a nation full of stupid Lotus eaters?

  5. gamini seekkubadu says:

    Its intentionaly lounched by the Government to mislead the population (majority of them poor) to cover the main issues and inabilities of the gvmt. within a short period of coming to power…Unknown killings…Bans of expression….political revanges are common again in the Island…as most of the law makers appointed are not well educated but thugs..and drug dealers…

View all comments (5)

Comments (5)

Your email address will not be published.

  1. sacre blieu says:

    Have always maintained that, in todays politics, if any politician puts his or her finger into something good, one can be sure that it will be destroyed. Stunning encroachment on even the all important subject of health.

  2. vini says:

    the pot must have carried corona right around until it ended on the Indian ocean

  3. Ibn Yousef says:

    Even those who took the vaccine have tested +ve to PCR tests

  4. Jayantha says:

    When are we going to come out of the label of a nation full of stupid Lotus eaters?

  5. gamini seekkubadu says:

    Its intentionaly lounched by the Government to mislead the population (majority of them poor) to cover the main issues and inabilities of the gvmt. within a short period of coming to power…Unknown killings…Bans of expression….political revanges are common again in the Island…as most of the law makers appointed are not well educated but thugs..and drug dealers…

Sri Lanka schedules 3-hour power cuts for Aug 20, 21: regulator

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will impose power cuts of up to three hours on Saturday August 20 and Sunday August 21, Public Utilities Commission (PUCSL) Chairman Janaka Ratnayake said.

All areas (A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V and W) will have power cuts of 1 hours and 40 minutes between 10.30 am and 06.00 pm and 1 hour 20 minutes from 06.00pm to 10.00 pm.

Click here for a detailed schedule.

The state-run Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) said supply interruption time and restoration time will vary within 30 minutes as indicated above.

Sri Lanka’s daily scheduled power cuts that were reduced to one hour in July with power generation from hydro power plants contributing more than 50 percent to the main grid reducing thermal power plant use was extended to three hours last week due to a breakdown at the Norochcholai coal power plant.

According to officials, the breakdown happened in Unit 1 of Norochcholai which will take around two weeks to repair.

The Minister of Power & Energy said Unit 2 is undergoing scheduled maintenance work while Unit 3 will continue to operate. West Coast and other fuel power pPlants will be used to manage the supply, the ministry said. (Colombo/Aug02/2022)

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Sri Lanka guidance peg edges T-bond yield edge down

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka Central Bank’s guidance peg for interbank transactions edged down on Friday (19), while yields in Treasury bonds picked up slightly and in T-bill remain unquoted in dull trade, a day after the Central Bank announced the policy rates will remain stable, dealers said.

A bond maturing on 01. 06. 2025 closed at 27.95/28.05 percent on Friday, slightly up from 27.90/28.00 percent on Thursday.

No T-bills were quoted on Friday, dealers said.

Meanwhile Sri Lanka’s central bank announced a guidance peg for interbank transactions further weakened by three cents to 361.00 rupees against the US dollar on Friday from 360.97 rupees.

Data showed that commercial banks offered dollars for telegraphic transfers between 368.00 and 370.00 for small transactions.  (Colombo/ Aug 19/2022)

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Sri Lanka records 10 new COVID-19 deaths in 48 hours as case numbers rise

ECONOMYNEXT –  Sri Lanka recorded 10 COVID-19 deaths in the 48 hours from August 17 to 19 taking the country’s pandemic death toll to 16,640, health ministry data showed.

Sri Lanka is experiencing a slight increase in COVID-19 cases with the relaxation of public health restrictions relating to face masks and public gatherings.

Health authorities said the situation will be monitored constantly and have asked the general public to continue to follow basic hygiene measures in order to control the spread of the virus again in the community.

In August alone 2,924 new cases were recorded in Sri Lanka, with 84 deaths attributed to the disease.

So far in 2022, from January onward, health authorities have identified 81,157 patients to date.

Epidemiology unit data showed that 874 patients are currently receiving treatment, out of which 716 are receiving home based care.

The spread of the virus has increased with the use of public transport rising after an easing of a fuel crisis.

Sri Lanka is also facing difficulties in securing essential medicine supplies for the health sector due to a forex shortage.

Health officials said if the number of COVID-19 patients rise to a level the health sector cannot manage,  with the added issues of fuel and medical shortages, the health system might collapse.

“It is the responsibility of us all. There is no use trying to forcibly control people. We all have the responsibility to reduce or stop the spread of the virus before it gets out of control. We have been living with it for the past two years,” Deputy Director General of Health Services Dr Hemantha Herath said. (Colombo/Aug19/2022)

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