Entering the third phase of its Rs. 130 million contribution towards combating the COVID-19 outbreak, Coca-Cola, together with its implementing partner Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, handed over 16,800 + COVID-19 PCR Kits and Viral Transport Media (VTM) to the Ministry of Health (MoH) to enhance testing facilities for COVID-19 in Sri Lanka. Although the country is currently not under lockdown, COVID-19 has not been eradicated in Sri Lanka, and MoH continues to undergo daily testing aligned with The World Health Organization’s message to all nations to accelerate testing as a means to curb the spread of the disease. MoH Sri Lanka conducts approximately 1000 - 2000 tests daily and increasing the number of tests will be a pivotal tool in the nation’s plans to repatriate thousands of Sri Lankans and reopen its international airport for tourists. Coca-Cola’s strategic donation of testing kits at this critical moment in time will help increase testing capacity.
In the initial phases, Coca-Cola pledged Rs. 130 million as its contribution to fight the pandemic while in the second stage it partnered with the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society to help marginalized people such as daily wage-earners by donating dry rations, sanitary items and first aid kits to over 6,000 families. By reinforcing the health care response and looking after the most vulnerable segments of society, Coca-Cola leveraged on its long-term commitment to the country to enhance preparedness and response.
Putting the crisis into perspective, Hon. Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Minister of Health says, “The COVID-19 outbreak is one of the most critical challenges the nation has faced. At such a crucial time, we are grateful to Coca-Cola for their significant and extremely valuable donation of 16,800 + PCR testing kits & VTMs which will help us scale up testing over the next few weeks.”
Mayank Arora, Managing Director, Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd., added, “Coca-Cola, is proud to collaborate with the Ministry of Health at this critical juncture, in its battle to completely eradicate COVID-19 from Sri Lanka. As the country prepares to open up its borders it becomes crucial now more than ever for the private sector partners such as Coca-Cola to join hands with the Government of Sri Lanka to ensure we curb the spread of this deadly disease, safeguard our communities and ensure the revival of the Economy.”
Elaborating further, Pankaj Sinha, Managing Director of Coca-Cola Sri Lanka Pvt Ltd., said, “When we set out on implementing our pledge, it seemed like a long road ahead, but we are humbled to have provided 16,800 + testing kits and VTM, having also completed the first two phases successfully. In keeping with Coca-Cola’s global purpose to ‘Refresh the World and Make a Difference’, we will continue to explore ways in which it can make a significant difference as Sri Lanka continues to combat the pandemic.”
Dr. Mahesh Gunasekara, Director General of Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) commented, “This pandemic has required all the possible energies to be brought to bear on combating the outbreak. Coca-Cola’s generous donation of essential food, sanitary items, first aid and now testing kits is just the sort of resources we need to stay ahead of the pandemic.”