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Mobile vaccination centres in CMC area



Lack of interest among public in getting second AZ jab detected

Mobile vaccination centres would be set up in the Colombo Municipal Council area soon, General Shavendra Silva, Head of The National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID 19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) told the media yesterday.

The Army was planning to go from one neighbourhood to another to vaccinate people, General Silva said.

The decision to launch the mobile service was made at the NOCPCO meeting held on Thursday evening.

General Silva added that more than one million jabs of Sinopharm had been allocated for the second dose and that most people had been given the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“We have observed that some people who had the first dose of AstraZeneca are not interested in getting the second dose even though wee have 24-hour vaccination centrs,” the Army Commander said, noting that most of the people who died of Covid-19 had not been fully vaccinated.

General Silva added that vaccination alone was not enough to stave of the virus, and good health practices such as wearing face masks, mainataing physical distance and washing hands had to be followed.

The Army Commander said that although public attention was on the protests, a number of people who had attended weddings that were held, violating guidelines, are posing a bigger problem.

“On Wednesday (04) a wedding in Anuradhapura was attended by more than 350 persons. About 50-60 of them have tested positive for COVID-19.

All that we can do is to establish vaccination centres but the problem lies with the supply of oxygen, etc. We need to look after our medical staff and health sector workers to sustain operations,” he added.

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Central Bank urged to save collapsing local industries



The National Freedom Front (NFF) has requested the immediate intervention of the Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal to save micro, small and medium scale industries badly affected by the current economic downturn caused by the Covid-19.

The NFF parliamentary group comprises six members, including one National List.

Industries Minister Wimal Weerawansa, on behalf of the SLPP constituent parties, has warned of steep increase in unemployment, drop in the contribution made by small and medium scale industries to the national economy and the further widening of the gap between the rich and poor.

Party sources told The Island that the NFF had decided to take up the urgent matter because, in spite of repeated promises, those who had been severely affected were yet to receive assistance. Minister Weerawansa has urged the Central Bank to restructure loans obtained by affected industries and also extend the moratorium.

Weerawansa has in a letter dated Oct.18, told Cabraal that according to a survey conducted by the Industrial Development Board, micro, small and medium enterprises suffered serious setbacks. However, of the loans made available through the banking sector, a substantial segment had been disbursed among major players, the Minister said, while pointing out that in other countries in the region more than 50 percent of total loans were made available to micro, small and medium industries.

Unfortunately, here in Sri Lanka they received approximately 15 percent of the total given as loans, the minister said.

Minister Weerawansa said that though industries suffered, almost all state and private banks had recorded much improved performances with significant profits.

The Minister said that following his intervention with the cabinet of ministers, the government agreed on a plan of action to deal with the situation. It would be the responsibility of the Central Bank to implement the agreed proposals, he said.


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So far no side effects among Pfizer vaccinated 15,000 A/L students



By Rathindra Kuruwita

Over 15,000 GCE AL students had been vaccinated with Pfizer and there had not been any side effects, Colombo District Director of Health Dr. Dilip Liyanage told the media yesterday.

He said that the Ministry of Education had given them a list of 20,688 that needed to be vaccinated.

“We would like to assure parents that there is no need to worry. Over 15,000 children have been vaccinated and there have been no problems so far. Trust the health professionals and vaccinate your child at the first opportunity you get,” he said.

Dr. Liyanage added that children who missed their chance to get vaccinated on weekdays, can get vaccinated at the MOH office near their home.

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Govt. approves prohibition of cattle slaughter



The government has approved the prohibition of cattle slaughter. The decision was announced at the weekly Cabinet meeting at the Information Department yesterday (19). The government said the relevant laws and regulations, including those passed by Local Government authorities would be amended for that purpse.

The Legal Draftsman has drafted Bills to amend the following acts and ordinances.

• Authority 272 of the Cattle Slaughter Ordinance No. 9 of 1893

• Act No. 29 of 1958 Concerning Animals

• Municipal Councils Ordinance – Section 252

• Section 255 of the Municipal Councils Ordinance

• Ordinance No. 15 of the Urban Council Act of 1987

The Attorney General has certified that the said Bills do not clash with the provisions of the Constitution.

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