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Prof. Malavige explains why even Singapore down with Indian variant

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By Rathindra Kuruwita

Prof. Neelika Malavige of the Department of Immunology and Molecular Sciences of the Sri Jayewardenepura University yesterday said only those engaged in providing essential services should be allowed to travel.

Employees should not be allowed to eat together, Prof. Malavige said. “You take masks off when you eat. If a group of people sit together and eat, all the precautions taken during the rest of the day will be in vain. Every country that has successfully controlled the spread, has adopted such measures.”

Prof. Malavige said the new variants were more infectious and could remain in the air longer in enclosed, especially air conditioned, environments.

“The virus is spread by droplets. If someone in an enclosed area coughs and emits droplets into the air. This can remain airborne for some time and can infect another. However, the distance that the droplets can travel is a metre. This would not be a problem at all if you are in a ventilated area or in open spaces,” she said.

“Vaccination is not the final solution to the pandemic”, Prof. Malavige said, adding that Singapore was currently under a lockdown because its airport staff, who had received both doses of Pfizer vaccine had contracted the Indian variant of COVID-19.

“They were asymptomatic cases, but infected their families, who spread it in the community,” she said, adding that vaccination was vital to ensure one’s personal safety but those who were vaccinated could contract the virus and spread it among others. She also said that it took several weeks after vaccination for people to develop immunity and therefore people should not lower their guard. “To develop some immunity after the AstraZeneca vaccine, it takes about 21 days after the first dose. However, you need to take the second dose for improved protection. You need two weeks after taking the second dose of Sinopharm to develop immunity. We have to be careful.”

Prof. Malavige said that Covid-19, like any other viral disease, had a significant effect on pregnant women, several of whom had died due to dengue, she noted.

“Any viral disease, be it chickenpox, influenza or dengue affects pregnant women. They must be careful.”



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Employees’ Trust Fund Act No. 46 of 1980 to be amended

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The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by the Hon. President in his capacity as the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies to instruct the legal draftsman to prepare a bill to amend the Employees’ Trust Provident Fund Act No. 46 of 1980 enabling to provide health insurance similar to Agrahara health insurance to private sector employees.

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Cabinet nod for MOU between the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Republic of Maldives on Cultural Cooperation

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The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by the Minister of Buddha Sasana, Religious and Cultural affairs to sign a cultural cooperation agreement between the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Maldives. (The draft agreement has received the clearance of the Attorney General and the approval of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

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Outgoing Bulgarian Ambassador calls on the President

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(pic PMD)

Mrs. Eleonora Dimitrova, Bulgaria’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka, met President Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Presidential Secretariat on Monday (06), before departing for her home country upon completing her tenure in Sri Lanka.

 

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