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Fully-functional ICU for 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. This 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.

Commenting on this occasion, Hon. Pavithra Wanniarachchi – Minister of Health stated, “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, Hon. (Dr.) 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. While we continue to help our communities stay connected, adapt, and get through this pandemic with our inclusive service offerings, this initiative will strengthen our nation’s capacity to respond to public health emergencies. We are thankful to our customers for their loyalty and the confidence placed on Dialog, enabling us help our country during these challenging time.”

 

 

 



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Business

DFCC Bank facilitates the continued growth of Sri Lankan SMEs amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

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The unprecedented surfacing of the COVID-19 pandemic has left a lasting scar on the global population and economy. With no precise warning on the horizon, businesses everywhere were thrown into the deep end, and survival seemed uncertain during the peak of the pandemic. In Sri Lanka, a nation where SMEs form the integral backbone of the economy, the ill effects have been taking a heavy toll on businesses both fiscally and mentally.

However, we as Sri Lankans are resilient at our core, and with the integral support of frontline workers, officials, and essential services such as our banking partners, we set forth on a journey to assess, adapt and survive. One such story about perseverance through a valuable relationship comes from K.S.K. Menan of Star Food Store (Pvt) Ltd, and his trusted banking partner, DFCC Bank.

Emerging from humble beginnings, Menan’s story is one that inspires patriotism, and reaffirms the importance of giving back to your motherland. As a self-made entrepreneur, Menan was successfully engaged with the departmental store industry in the United Kingdom, when one day, he decided to leave everything there and come back to his home, Sri Lanka. He was on a mission to give back to the country that had given him so much, and that led to the birth of ‘Star Food Store’ in Kokkuvil, a supermarket equipped with all the necessary household essentials. DFCC Bank had been by his side throughout the entire journey until the opening of his outlet, and even more when the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

“When Imoved back to Sri Lanka in 2016, the very first account I opened was with DFCC Bank, and with their support, I was able to open the first‘Star Food Store’ in November 2019. However, when COVID-19 struck, everything came to halt. When restrictions were relaxed, I faced multiple problems with bringing things back to how they were. DFCC Bank stepped in and gave me overdraft facilities, helped clear my cheques, and provided additional funds at a low interest rate”.

Today, Menan has been able to open a second Star Food Store outlet at Achchuveli in August 2020, and a third at Idaikkadu in February 2021. He states that expansion is the last thing most businesses consider during this turbulent time, however, the X factor that has allowed him to do this is his banking partner.

“The confidence an entrepreneur gains with the right banking partner is immeasurable, and I have been able to find that with DFCC Bank. They have always gone out of the way to ensure my venture’s continuity, from sending someone from the branch immediately if there is an issue with the card machine during business hours, or even understanding that loose change is important for a supermarket and sending bags of coins from the Colombo branch for business use. I now have plans of constructing a state-of-the-art shopping complex in Jaffna, and look forward to working with DFCC on this project”.

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Covid-19 third wave fears dampen stock market

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne 

The CSE witnessed a steep decline following worries over the possible outbreak of a  Covid 19 third wave in the country and the continuation of selling pressure for certain stocks in the market, stock market analysts said.

CSE investors worried over 52 new cases being detected in two retail stores at Pamunuwa and at a state bank in Colombo at the end of the April holidays. Sri Lanka’s Health Ministry warned of a possible surge in COVID-19 cases in the coming weeks, market analysts said.

  Consequently, the All Share Price Index declined by 2.9 percent and S and P SL20 dropped by three percent. Major companies sought after by investors negatively contributed to both indices during the day. According to  market analysts,  these companies  were:  LOLC (27 negative points),  Expolanka (19 negative points), Vallibel One (12 negative points), Hayleys (11 negative points) and JKH (10 negative points).

All Share Price Index went down by 198.39 points and S and P SL20 down by 93.89 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 3.7 billion with a single crossing. The crossing was reported in Ceylon Cold Stores (CIS), which crossed 60000 shares to the tune of Rs. 35.4 million, its shares traded at Rs. 594. 

In the retail market, five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were: Browns Investments Rs. 717.6 million (114 million shares traded), Expolanka Rs. 480 million (9.8 million shares traded), Hayleys Rs. 392 million (five million shares traded), Dipped Products Rs. 389 million (6.9 million shares traded) and LOLC Rs. 193 million (587,000 shares traded). During the day 197 million share volumes changed hands in 31305 transactions.  

Sri Lanka rupee quoted firmer around 192/194 levels to the US dollar in the spot market on Tuesday, while bond yields slightly eased, dealers said. Sri Lanka rupee last closed at 194/198 levels to the US dollar in the spot market on Monday. The Central Banks Telegraph Transfer rates stand at 187.93/191.97 levels below the spot rates on Monday.

Sri Lanka’s rupee has come under pressure amid money printing and low-interest rates, despite the worst import controls since the 1970s, observers said.

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SAT launches F5 portfolio to deliver secure digital experiences

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(At left) : Edgar Dias, Regional Vice President of Channels and Partnerships, Asia Pacific, F5. (At right) : Sanjaya Padmaperuma, CEO of SAT.

South Asian Technologies (Pvt) Ltd, announces its appointment to be a distributor for F5 within Sri Lanka and Maldives to deliver secure digital experience to enterprises.

The cutting-edge technology is a portal for delivering applications and data with greater agility, security, availability, performance, and scalability.

F5’s portfolio of automation, security, performance, and insight capabilities empowers customers to create, secure, and operate adaptive applications that reduce costs, improve operations, and better protect users.

“With the increasing necessity for digitalisation in the workspace, now more than ever, organisations need proven solutions to help secure their businesses. Adding F5 to our existing portfolio gives South Asian Technologies, a more omniscient opportunity to equip our partners and customers with best-in-class application security and delivery solutions. As F5 enables adaptive applications, the SAT team is ecstatic at the prospect of securing our clientele with robust security offerings that have a proven history with Fortune 500 companies across the globe,” said Sanjaya Padmaperuma, CEO of SAT.

Every company today is in the digital experience business. In the wake of COVID-19, customer expectations are higher than ever, as the experiences garnered are the primary way that people interact and transact with just about every organisation at present.

F5 helps organisations deliver and secure the premium digital facilities that customers demand by enabling adaptive applications which, like living organisms, will naturally adapt based on their environment – growing, shrinking, defending, and healing themselves.

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