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Dialog Axiata gifts fully-functional ICU to Homagama Base Hospital

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Dialog Axiata PLC (Dialog), on the request of the Ministry of Health, gifted a fully functional 10 bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to the Homagama Base Hospital. This initiative forms a part of the company’s ongoing commitment to empower the national health care efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In April 2020, Dialog pledged a sum of Rs 200 Million towards the upliftment of Critical Health Infrastructure associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The hallmark pledge by Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider enabled the commissioning of a 10-bed ICU at the Negombo Hospital as the first step.

It also enabled high-speed PCR testing at the Bandaranaike International Airport, drastically reducing testing and reporting time from 8 hours to approximately 2.5 hours.

The fully functional ICU complex at Homagama Base Hospital is equipped with a negative pressure unit that has been specially designed to effectively handle infectious diseases such as the Coronavirus and comes complete with state-of-the-art ICU equipment advancing the hospital’s capability to serve critical patients.

The initiative aims to lessen the pressure on medical staff treating patients with acute illnesses, and add greater value to the training of doctors in intensive care whilst also acting as a catalyst to improve healthcare systems in the district.

Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Minister of Health said, “Dialog Axiata, which has contributed immensely towards the upliftment of the health sector, is a company with a big heart. At the beginning of the pandemic, when we reached out to Dialog to support us with our national efforts towards mitigating COVID-19, Dialog pledged Rs. 200 Million right away to uplift the country’s critical health infrastructure. This pledge facilitated a fully-fledged 10-bed ICU at the Negombo General Hospital and also a Hi-Speed robotic PCR testing at Bandaranaike International Airport. The ICU development at Homagama Base Hospital is the latest initiative that has come to fruition as a result of all these efforts for which we, as Sri Lankans, as a nation, are immensely grateful for.”

Commenting, Bandula Gunawardana, Minister of Trade said, “One of the shortfalls that the Homagama Base hospital, which treats many people, has had for a long time was an established ICU. We are proud to witness the launch of this fully-fledged ICU at the Homagama Base Hospital, complete with all the latest, cutting-edge equipment required for critical care. On behalf of the Government, I would like to express our gratitude towards Dialog Axiata, for taking the initiative and making this a possibility.”

Commenting, Supun Weerasinghe, Group Chief Executive of Dialog Axiata PLC said, “Amidst a year of unprecedented crises, we appreciate the opportunity to establish a fully functional 10-bed ICU at the Homagama Base Hospital as part of our commitment towards supporting the national efforts aimed at combating COVID-19.



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Cardinal: Was there any link between passage of 20A and Easter Sunday probe outcome?

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… stands by his claim of foreign involvement

By Norman Palihawadana

Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith yesterday said that there could be a connection between the outcome of the probe into the Easter Sunday attacks and the enlisting of Muslim MPs’ support for the passage of the 20th Amendment.

The Cardinal said: “The leader of a Muslim political party voted against the 2Oth Amendment. But his MPs voted for it. The brother of Rishad Bathiudeen too was released around the same time. These are questionable developments. These events could be part of a deal.”

The Cardinal reiterated that international forces were behind the Easter Sunday attacks and that he did not believe that there had been any local political group directly involved in the Easter attacks.

Addressing the media yesterday, the Cardinal said that the remarks he made on Sunday had been misunderstood. He stood by his claim that international forces had been behind the attacks, he said.

“However, some people claim that I said a local political group was behind the attack. I have always maintained that there are international forces that use religious and ethnic extremists such as Wahabists to create conflicts. I was referring to such groups.”

The Cardinal added that only a small group of Muslims was involved in extremism.

The Archbishop also said that former President Maithripala Sirisena believed that taking action against extremists like NTJ leader Zahran Hashim would create unnecessary issues.

“Something along these lines is also in the PCoI on Easter Sunday attacks. The report also implies that the then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was lenient in dealing with growing extremism in Sri Lanka.”

The Cardinal urged the government to protect the country and ensure that there would be no repeats of incidents like the Easter Sunday attacks.

The Archbishop of Colombo requested all religious leaders to work on rebuilding trust among all communities.

 

 

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AG appeals to Supreme Court against granting of bail to Ravi, others

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The Attorney General yesterday appealed to the Supreme Court against bail for former Minister Ravi Karunanayake and seven others indicted in the bond case by the Colombo Special High Court Trial-at-Bar.

The eight accused were arrested and remanded over the bond scams. Later, they were released on bail.

The court warned that if the accused attempted to exert influence on the witnesses, by any means, bail would be revoked and they would be placed on remand until the end of the trial.

 

 

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26 more coronavirus cases detected in Jaffna Tirunelveli market area

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Another 26 COVID-19 cases had been detected on Sunday, from the Tirunelveli Market in Jaffna, which was the epicentre of the recent outbreak in the town, Dr. A. Kethiswaran, Regional Director Health Services told the media yesterday.

The market and its surroundings had been reopened on April 11 following a 19-day lockdown. However, 378 PCR tests were conducted after the Sinhala and Tamil New Year and 26 of them proved positive.

Dr. Kethiswaran warned last week that there might be a spike in COVID-19 cases in Jaffna after the New Year celebrations.

A large number of COVID-19 cases had been reported in Jaffna in the past few weeks. Thus, the people should adhere to health guidelines. If people did not follow the guidelines, there would be a spike in cases and then some places would have to be lockdown, he warned.

“It’s too early to say whether we have to close the area down. We are monitoring the situation,” DR. Kethiswaran said.

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