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Vice Foreign Minister-Level Video Conference on COVID-19 Government had to deal with many challenges: State Minister

14 November 2020 12:00 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • Intermediate Care Centres have been set up for asymptomatic patients

State Minister of Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya, making his remarks at the Vice Foreign Minister-Level Video Conference on COVID-19, said the government had to deal with the loss of employment, particularly workers in the informal sector and among low-income groups as one among the primary challenges.   

He said in his speech that the government is providing cost of living grants, concessionary loans, and have negotiated with banks and leasing companies to provide relief to the people. Programmes to distribute ration packs and payment of a monthly allowance for families among low-income groups have been implemented in areas under lockdown.   


“Sri Lankan companies including the major exporters of apparel who are affected by the disruption of the global supply chains and international shipping and air transport are also assisted by the Foreign Ministry and Sri Lanka Missions abroad by securing orders from overseas for protective gear to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Our companies proved their resilience and innovativeness by rapidly transforming their production to the manufacture of facial masks, PPE’s and other essential protective gear,” he said.   


Top-level officials of the Foreign Ministries of China, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka attended the meeting.   


“All identified patients are subjected to testing, and dedicated public hospitals have been established island-wide to treat COVID-19 patients. Intermediate Care Centres have been set up for asymptomatic patients. Another aspect of our strategy is the very effective contact tracing method used by our security forces and intelligence agencies in identifying the infected persons and their contacts. 


Contacts of reported cases are subject to home quarantine for 14 days and the Government has provided dry ration packs to these families. Sri Lankans returning from overseas are required to quarantine for 14 days at designated Quarantine Centres,” he said.   

 

 

  • Top-level officials of the Foreign Ministries of China, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka attended the meeting
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