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GMOA identifies priority groups for immediate vaccination

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by Rathindra Kuruwita

The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) yesterday identified four categories of people who needed to be vaccinated on a priority basis to reduce the number of COVID-19 related deaths and economic disruptions.

The four priority categories, according to the GMOA, are frontline staff and their high risk associates, all citizens over the age of 60, those between the ages of 18 and 60, who suffer from non-communicable diseases, and pregnant women.

Secretary of the GMOA, Dr. Senal Fernando said that those over 60 comprise over 75% of COVID-19 deaths and that 83% of deaths of those between 18 and 60 had been reported from among those with non- communicable diseases.

All the above-mentioned groups comprised about 20% of the total population and about 10 million vaccines were needed to inoculate them, Dr. Fernando said.

“If we can vaccinate this group within the next two months we can reduce deaths and disruptions to daily activities. Then we can systematically work towards inoculating 70% of the population that is necessary to control the spread of COVID-19,” he said.

Currently, the government was vaccinating those over the age of 30 and they only comprised 51.6% of the population, the GMOA secretary said. “We need 30 million jabs to vaccinate 70% of the people and that will take time,” he said. 



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At least 17 killed after explosion in Peshawar mosque

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(picture from twitter)

BBC reported that at least 17 people have been killed in an explosion at a mosque in the Pakistani city of Peshawar.

The blast happened when the mosque was packed with worshippers and more than 90 people were injured.

A section of the building was destroyed, and officials say people are buried under the rubble. Several others are being taken to local hospitals.

The cause of the explosion is unclear.

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More heavy rain ahead for New Zealand’s largest city

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Auckland experienced an unprecedented amount of rainfall on Friday (picture BBC)

BBC reported that residents in flood-hit northern New Zealand are bracing for more heavy rains as officials issued severe weather alerts.

At least four people have died and a state of emergency was declared in Auckland, which on Friday experienced its worst downpour on record.

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Information Dept. media release: EC Chief asks public not to be misled

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by Priyan de Silva

Chairman of the Election Commission of Sri Lanka, Nimal Punchihewa, asked to comment on a special news release, purportedly issued by the Director General of the Department of Government Information, on Sunday (29), told  The Island  that preparations for the 09 March local government elections were going ahead, as planned, and that the media statement at issue was misleading.

The media statement says: “The gazette notice with signatures of the Chairman and other members of the Election Commission required for the commencement of the Local Government election process has not been sent to the Government Press for printing.”

Punchihewa requested the public not to be misled by any misinformation being spread in an attempt to create doubts in their minds.He also  reiterated that the EC would not be deterred by any acts of intimidation.

Three of the EC members have been threatened with death by an unidentified caller to resign from their posts. They are S. B. Divaratne, M. M. Mohamed and K. P. P. Pathirana. The Opposition has accused the government of trying to sabotage the LG polls.

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