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AMS says Covishield vaccine most effective and best solution against Covid-19

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The Association of Medical Specialists (AMS) urged all those eligible to receive the Covishield vaccine to do so, and not lose the opportunity as it is the most effective and the best solution now available against Covid-19.

The vaccine has been approved by the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) following the ‘due process’. It’s the same Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine, approved by two stringent drug regulators in the world from UK and EU as safe and efficacious, AMS President, Dr. L A. Ranasinghe said in a statement.

“Almost all members of our association leading from the front obtained vaccination to allay anxiety of the rest of the health sector. There are several myths and misconceptions circulating especially in social media probably to scare innocent people creating an unwarranted anxiety towards this vaccine”, it said.

“Since the vaccination process began, we have noticed a few growing concerns and reluctance in some segments of society as to whether they should be vaccinated or not. Unfortunately, at the beginning, these included certain categories of healthcare workers as well. The dilemma has virtually disappeared among healthcare workers as the vaccination process progressed smoothly and successfully”, the statement further said.

“We feel that it is our responsibility and duty to inform the public about the Covid-19 vaccine initiative in Sri Lanka. We are grateful to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his government for the commitment and promptness in launching the vaccination process in the country”, it noted.

The AMS also thanked the Indian government for their generosity in donating the necessary Covishield vaccines to all Sri Lankan healthcare workers and security forces personnel who are in the forefront in combating Covid-19.

The AMS also asked the media to be more responsible at this very crucial juncture by not promoting false claims. It would be prudent not to exaggerate usual and mostly trivial after effects, for the public not to avoid the much needed vaccination.

“Let us unite to defeat COVID through Science”.



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SL gets Rs 452 mn for saving ill-fated tanker: Rs. 3.4 bn asked for

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By Ifham Nizam and Rathindra Kuruwita

The Marine Enviro-nment Protection Authority (MEPA) yesterday received Rs. 452 million from London for having saved MT New Diamond, a super oil tanker that caught fire in the Sri Lanka’s territorial waters last year.

MEPA General Manager, Dr. P. B. Terney Pradeep Kumara told The Island that Rs. 442 million had come for the services rendered by the Sri Lanka Navy, MEPA and Rs. 10 million by way of a fine imposed on the Ship’s Captain.

However, Sri Lanka has to receive a much larger amount for the damage caused to the marine environment, Dr. Kumara said. Following the incident, Sri Lankan authorities filed charges against the Captain of the ill-fated vessel and made a claim for $2.4 million from the ship’s owners for the firefighting and pollution prevention efforts.

Twenty experts from the Universities of Moratuwa, Ruhuna and Sri Jayewardenepura submitted their recommendations as regards the damage to the environment, to the Attorney General. Based on the report, the Attorney General’s Department had asked for Rs. 3.4 billion (around USD 19 million) as compensation for environmental damage, the Coordinating Officer for the Attorney General, state counsel Nishara Jayaratne said.

Soon they would have discussions with the lawyers of the shipping agent concerned on compensation for environmental damage caused, she said.

Dr. Kumara, who is the former Head of the Department of Oceanography/Marine Geology of the Ruhuna University, said that the incident had caused deaths among marine species due to spillage of some toxic fuel from the vessel.

The MT New Diamond crude oil tanker was transporting 270,000 MT oil from the port of Meena Al Ahmadi in Kuwait to the Port of Paradip in India when a fire broke out in its engine room as the vessel was passing the eastern seas of Sri Lanka on September 3, 2020.

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PSC on gender equality meets for the first time

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State Minister, Fernandopulle flanked by two other PSC members

Special attention on microfinance

The Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to further gender equality, to investigate instances of discrimination against women and to present recommendations to Parliament, focused on microfinance loans that are currently affecting a large number of women in Sri Lanka, when they met for the first time in Parliament recently.

The meeting was chaired by the State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics and COVID-19 Disease Control Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle.

It was also revealed that the Cabinet had approved the re-establishment of an institution to regulate Microfinance loans in Sri Lanka.

The MPs also discussed the role of the Select Committee. They decided that the primary role of the Committee should be to investigate women’s grievances and all forms of discrimination based on gender, including workplace violence.

Another task before this committee is to examine and review laws that can be used to enhance gender equality, encourage relevant ministries and authorities to formulate plans to further gender equality and to allocate financial resources.

The Committee will also try to encourage greater women’s representation in decision-making bodies at the national and provincial levels as well as in government, civil society and the private sector.

MPs Rohini Kaviratne, (Dr.) Harini Amarasuriya, M. Udayakumar, S. Sritharan, Rohana Bandara and the Secretary to the Committee, Deputy Secretary General and Chief of Staff of the Parliament Kushani Rohanadheera were also present at the meeting.

 

 

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A/L Examination from October 04 to 30

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The 2021 GCE Advanced Level examination would be held from October 4 to 30, Education Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said yesterday addressing the media at his Ministry.

Minister Peiris said the examination was earlier scheduled to be held in August.

The Grade 5 scholarship examination would be held on October 03 and the 2021 GCE Ordinary Level (O/L) examination in the last week of January 2022, the Minister said.

“Usually, schools are open for academic activities for around 200 days a year. But in 2020, schools were open for about 150 days. It was around 130 days in the Western Province. We were not able to fill this gap with online classes due to lack of internet facilities in many parts of the country,” he said.

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