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Britain’s Prince William contracted COVID-19 in April

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Britain’s Prince William contracted COVID-19 in April at the same time as his father Prince Charles, British media reported late on Sunday, citing Kensington Palace sources.

William, grandson of Queen Elizabeth and second-in-line to the British throne, kept his diagnosis a secret because he did not want to alarm the country, The Sun newspaper reported.

“There were important things going on and I didn’t want to worry anyone,” William was quoted by the newspaper as having told an observer at an engagement.

He was treated by palace doctors and followed government guidelines by isolating at the family home Anmer Hall, in Norfolk, the newspaper said, adding that he still carried out 14 telephone and video call engagements during April.

“William was hit pretty hard by the virus — it really knocked him for six. At one stage he was struggling to breathe, so obviously everyone around him was pretty panicked,” a source told The Sun.

The BBC also confirmed the news from sources late on Sunday, with Kensington Palace and the office of Prince William refusing to comment officially to the news outlet.

The palace was not immediately available for comment late on Sunday.

The residence of William’s father, Prince Charles, had said on March 25 that Charles tested positive for the coronavirus. The heir to the throne had self-isolated at his residence in Scotland for seven days with mild symptoms.

Britain has been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak and has reported 46,717 COVID-19 deaths – defined as those dying within 28 days of a positive test. A broader measure of those with COVID-19 on their death certificates puts the toll at 58,925.



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Economic crisis: 100,000 families already starving

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Govt. to provide monthly assistance package – official

By Ifham Nizam 

Plans are underway to assist an average needy family of  four with a monthly package of Rs. 15,000, a senior adviser to President Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday, adding that the move was expected to help ameliorate the plight of nearly 65,000 families.

Food Security Committee Chairman Dr. Suren Batagoda told The Island yesterday that at present some 100,000 families across the country were starving.

He said financial assistance would be provided to those families for three months. Within three months, the government would design a package in the form of food stamps, etc.

Dr. Batagoda said the World Food Programme, UNICEF, the World Bank, and state agencies would also team up to strengthen food security, focusing especially on needy pregnant mothers and pre-school children.

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GR govt. ignored Chinese lenders’ request for debt restructuring

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By Rathindra Kuruwita

The Gotabaya Rajapaksa government had ignored suggestions by Chinese lending institutions that Sri Lanka to restructure the debt in 2021, Prof. Samitha Hettige said yesterday.

“The Rajapaksa government started talking of debt restructuring earlier this year. The Opposition had been asking for this before,” he said.  By 2021, before the Gotabaya Rajapaksa administration decided on debt restructuring, the Chinese institutions that had given Sri Lanka loans suggested that a restructuring process should start since Sri Lanka would have trouble repaying the loans, the Strategic Studies scholar said.

However, the request had gone unheeded, and if the government had started discussions then, Sri Lanka would not have been in crisis, Prof. Hettige said.

The Sri Lankan foreign policy, in the last few years, had also been misguided, Prof. Hettige said. A number of Indian and Chinese companies faced unnecessary issues by the behaviour of the government, he said.

Prof. Hettige said that the government must focus on establishing free trade ports and reducing negative lists for investments.

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SJB dissociates itself from SF’s call for protest

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By Chaminda Silva

MP Sarath Fonseka’s call for people to join anti-government protests was not a decision taken by the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), party MP J.C Alawathuwala said.

The SJB believed that they had to help President Ranil Wickremesinghe stabilise the country, economically and politically, he said.

MP Alawathuwala said the President must be given some time to solve the problems faced by the people and that the SJB was holding discussions with the government to guide it on a people-friendly path.

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