Sri Lanka turns to divine help to contain Covid-19

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka sought spiritual help Sunday to contain the surge in coronavirus infections even as the authorities relaxed hospitalization and quarantine rules to deal with rising COVID-19 patients and their contacts.

Kapila Gunawardena, Secretary to the ministry of Buddha Sasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs asked Buddhist monks to recite “Ratana Sutta” and the “Jaya Piritha” twice a day to invoke blessings for the eradication of the pandemic.

According to Buddist teachings, monk Ananda was instructed by the Buddha to recite the “Ratana sutta” to dispel a plague that had gripped the town of Viasala. The recital of Jaya Piritha is said to secure protection, security and victory.

Gunawardena asked Hindu priests to conduct poojas and urged Christian priests and Muslim clerics to hold special prayer sessions.

The government’s spiritual offensive came as health authorities issued new guide lines to ease congestion at hospitals treating virus patients and quarantine centres holding those who had come into contact with Covid-19 cases.

Those who test positive but do not show any symptoms are to be sent to isolation centres rather than hospitals as done before. Asymptomatic patients are also to be discharged from isolation centres after 14 days of a test.

At the same time, health authorities have said the current strain of the virus is far more virulent and spreads more easily compared to the first wave between March and April. (COLOMBO, Nov 1, 2020)

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