The 70% Renewables Saga Again
by Kumar David
People were settling down to the belief that like Pavithra’s snake oil, the 70% electrical energy generation from renewables totem-pole that the President erected in his halcyon days immediately after his election had been quietly buried and forgotten. Unexpectedly this serenity was disturbed by a wakeup call last week from diehard aficionados of Aesop’s fables. My friend and top Canadian-Sri Lankan scientist Chandre Dharmawardena last week circulated, very widely, an email about how to increase the yield from the CEB’s major hydro projects wherein he made passing reference to the 70% story. That was not his issue but others on the list picked up on it and either disputed or supported it. This shows that even among professional scientists and a few engineers the myth persists. I have intervened in this farce before and this is the last time I intend to prove that a square does not have five sides nor explain that a leprechaun, a small size fairy-man, is supernatural.
Sitting as I am inside a strict quarantine room my facts may not all be up to date but they are good enough for my case today. The CEB Annual Report; unfortunately 2019 is the latest available online says that in that year gross-generation was 16.556 TWh (terra-watt-hours or billion-kilo-watt-hours, a kWh is commonly called a unit). Say we use 16.56 TWh for this gross production hereafter.
Covid dampened the economy in 2020 and 2021 (no stats yet) but we also have the experiences of post-covid growth spikes in other countries. Hence it is reasonable to use an average 7% growth rate, which the CEB has used in the, past to prevail from 2019 to 2030. Using 7% growth for the 11 years from 2019 to 2030 (inclusive) the total annual electrical energy production needed in 2030 is 34.8 TWh. Forecasters are not soothsayers and it could be higher or lower. (If it turns out to be much lower woe unto Sri Lanka because electricity usage is a reliable indicator of economic growth). Plans and projections must be updated regularly as circumstances change. Planners are familiar with this and call them ‘Rolling Plans’.
If the economy nosedives due to debt-default, covid or economic mismanagement in the next three or four years, electricity demand will also plummet. The availability of money for everything, food and medicine included, leave aside new electrical plant, will be squeezed and governments may go out of the window. I will not contemplate this doomsday scenario here because that is a parallel universe. I will assume that normal growth (7% electricity growth is quotidian) will be sustained and that reasonable funding will be available for expansion of the electricity sector and funding will be made available for a robust renewables programme.
I now turn to a second point from the same (2019) CEB Annual Report which provides a pie-chart of generation breakdown by source. Here is what it says:-
Major Hydro: 23.76% (3.93 TWh) in 2019. Hydro is subject to vagaries of the weather and in some years can decline up to 25% of expectation and in other years be plentiful.
Non-conventional renewable (NCR) Mini Hydro: 6.35% (1.05 TWh). This too is subject to the rain gods.
Wind+Solar+Biomass+Rooftop-solar: (W+S+B) group, added up in 2019 to 4.71% (0.78 TWh).
All renewables, Major Hydro, Mini Hydro and the (W+S+B) group add to 34.79% (5.76 TWh) of total generation. The other nearly 65.2% (16.56 – 5.76 = 10.80 TWh) was coal and oil fired electricity. This was in 2019.
Let us round the 2019 renewable total of 5.76 as 5.8 TWh (34.8% of total electrical energy). Observe that of this Mini Hydro (1.05) plus the (W+S+B) group (0.78) add to 1.83 (11% of total). Let’s round this to 1.8 TWh. To repeat, of the grand total of energy production 65.2% was from coal and oil thermal sources. You don’t need to bother with all these details. Keep only these two numbers in mind; all the renewables including Major Hydro added to 34.8% of total production in 2019 and its magnitude was 5.8 TWh. Excluding major hydro the renewals group was 11% that is 1.8 TWh.
Previously I estimated the production need in year 2030, if national economic development goes well at an averaged growth rate of 7%, as 34.8 TWh. Am I an optimist in respect of mother Lanka? If you feel so you can reduce this figure by 10% or whatever you wish but I am sticking with it to prove my point. Seventy percent of 34.8 is 24.4 TWh. To attain the President’s target by 2030 we will have to increase our renewable sourced electrical energy from 5.8 TWh to 24.4 TWh! That is another 18.6 TWh. Since envisaged new major hydro will only add 0.35 TWh (see below) the other part the [mini hydro + (W+S+B)] group will have to provide the rest. That is expand from 1.8 TWh in 2019 to 18.25 TWh (18.6-0.35) in year 2030. This is why I asked whether as a child you enjoyed Aesop’s Fables?
And in the nearly three years since President Gotabaya floated his idea in late 2019 how much in renewable sources have we added to the generation mix? A quarantine room is not the best place to collect data, but I guess it’s about 0.6 TWh. But the government daydreams of adding another 18 TWh by 2030! I maintain that a total of 12 TWh annual total renewable source generated electrical energy is a healthy and optimistic target to aim for by year-2030. That is to say, add another 6.2 TWh on top of the existing 5.8 TWh instead of crazy notions of adding 18 TWh. Coal power is environmentally bad, no question. Let’s minimise it as soon as feasible but the last three are the operational words. OK let’s stop quarrelling about percentages; we can all agree that the share of renewable energy has to be increased. Let’s aim to get the renewable total to 12 TWh and take it from there after that. What if we get there before 2030 – great! If not let’s keep striving.
Another important matter is availability. Once you “use up” all your hydro sources, the best wind and the best solar sites, there’s no more to be had. This has already happened with major hydro; after Mahaveli there are only a few less significant plant. Broadlands and Uma Oya, between them just 0.35 TWh annually (compared to Victoria alone 0.78 GWh annually, and Norochcholai one, two and three about five TWh annually) and a few miniscule ones left for the CEB to do. Renewables by their nature are energy limited and once you use them up that’s it.
The solar energy potential of Sri Lanka is greatly exaggerated in layman discussions. We do not have anything even remotely comparable to the insolation (amount of solar energy received) levels of the Atacama, the Gobi or Rajasthan. And we do not have enough land to spare due to competing needs – tea, paddy, villages, small towns and cities. We are an island of some 22 million souls in a 60,000 sq. km land. We can’t uproot the tea, chop down Sinharaja or cover Minneriya with solar panels and damn the aquatic life beneath! These are the constraints within which we need to think. It’s not a gloomy picture but a challenging one. Let’s focus on 12 TWh for now.
Say you reach say X% (no matter 50 or 35 or whatever) renewable sourced electrical energy by Year-Y (no matter 2030 or 2040 or 2050 or whenever) using up the best known sources. Then as a percentage their share will decline in years thereafter as demand grows. Demand keeps growing but you have no more resources to add. To repeat: Renewables by their nature are energy limited and once you use them up that’s it. What we have to do then is look for new technologies such as off-shore wind, increase solar-cell efficiency, mini-fusion and if it becomes available and the public will have it, small safe nuclear power. None of this will come easy and will require effort and investment. I can’t see a one off-shore wind farm (except on an experimental scale) coming on stream by 2030.
In 2010, the US Energy Information Agency said “offshore wind power is the most expensive energy generating technology being considered for large scale deployment” according to Wikipedia; but costs have been falling in the last 10 years. There are also maintenance problems out at sea and operational issues pertaining to stochastic sources – I did a bit of work on wind-power with the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm in the 1980s modelling the stochastic aspect. The UK, Germany, Denmark and Belgium are going strong with large off-shore projects because consumers are prepared to pay higher prices for clean electricity. In Sri Lanka this is something for the future when we are richer.
We will have to install Norochcholai Unit 4 to avert power shortages soon but that depends on economic growth as I previously said. The next big generator will have to be an LNG powered plant. But these two essential plants have been delayed or sabotaged by political scabs and commercial bandits who support this or that supplier on whose commissions they lean. LNG most certainly is not a renewable source; it emits carbon dioxide and leaks ethane. Yes it is cheaper and less polluting than coal. But what’s the use of wailing about all this until the brigands get their cut, or till competent and fearless technologists take control of the processes.
If you have a heart, say no to tobacco!
BY Dr. Gotabhya Ranasinghe
(MBBS, MD, FCCP, FRCP, FAPSIC, FACC, FESC)
Consultant in General & Interventional Cardiology, NHSL
Tobacco harms practically all of the body’s organs and is a key risk factor for heart disease!
Smoking can impact all aspects of the cardiovascular system, including the heart, blood, and blood vessels. I know from my experience over the years that about 25% of the patients who seek treatment from me for heart conditions smoke.
Is there a strong link between smoking and heart disease?
Of course, there is! Smoking definitely contributes to heart disease. The majority of smokers experience heart attacks.
Some claim that the only people at risk for heart attacks or strokes are those who are classified as heavy smokers. Although this is the case, did you know that smoking even one or two cigarettes a day might result in heart attacks?
Young smokers are on the rise, which unfortunately brings more cardiac patients between the ages of 20 and 25 to the cardiology unit.
Why is tobacco poison for your heart?
The harmful mix of more than 7,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke, including nicotine and carbon monoxide, can interfere with vital bodily functions when inhaled.
When you breathe, your lungs absorb oxygen and pass it on to your heart, which then pumps this oxygen-rich blood to the rest of your body through the blood arteries. However, when the blood that is circulated to the rest of the body picks up the toxins in cigarette smoke when you breathe it in, your heart and blood arteries are harmed by these substances, which could result in cardiovascular diseases.
What does cigarette smoke do to your heart?
Atherosclerosis (Building up of cholesterol deposits in the coronary artery)
Endothelium dysfunction leads to atherosclerosis. The inner layer of coronary arteries or the arterial wall of the heart both function improperly and contribute to artery constriction when you smoke cigarettes. As a
result, the endothelium-cell barrier that separates the arteries is breached, allowing cholesterol plaque to build up. It’s crucial to realize that smoking increases the risk of endothelial dysfunction in even those who have normal cholesterol levels.
The plaque accumulated in the arteries can burst as a result of continued smoking or other factors like emotional stress or strenuous exercises. Heart attacks occur when these plaque rupture and turn into clots.
Coronary artery spasm
Did you know you can experience a spasm immediately after a puff of smoke?
A brief tightening or constriction of the muscles in the wall of an artery that supplies blood to the heart is referred to as a coronary artery spasm. Part of the heart’s blood flow can be impeded or reduced by a spasm. A prolonged spasm can cause chest pain and possibly a heart attack.
People who usually experience coronary artery spasms don’t have typical heart disease risk factors like high cholesterol or high blood pressure. However, they are frequent smokers.
An erratic or irregular heartbeat is known as an arrhythmia. The scarring of the heart muscle caused by smoking can cause a fast or irregular heartbeat.Additionally, nicotine can cause arrhythmia by speeding up the heart rate.
One of the best things you can do for your heart is to stop smoking!
Did you know the positive impacts start to show as soon as you stop smoking?
After 20 minutes of quitting smoking, your heart rate begins to slow down.
In just 12 hours after quitting, the level of carbon monoxide in your blood returns to normal, allowing more oxygen to reach your heart and other vital organs.
12 to 24 hours after you stop smoking, blood pressure levels return to normal.
Your risk of developing coronary heart disease decreases by 50% after one year of no smoking.
So let us resolve to protect and improve heart health by saying no to tobacco!
Religious cauldron being stirred; filthy rich in abjectly poor country
What a ho ha over a silly standup comedian’s stupid remarks about Prince Siddhartha. I have never watched this Natasha Edirisuriya’s supposedly comic acts on YouTube or whatever and did not bother to access derogatory remarks she supposedly introduced to a comedy act of hers that has brought down remand imprisonment on her up until June 6. Speaking with a person who has his ear to the ground and to the gossip grape wine, I was told her being remanded was not for what she said but for trying to escape consequences by flying overseas – to Dubai, we presume, the haven now of drug kingpins, money launderers, escapees from SL law, loose gabs, and all other dregs of society.
Of course, derogatory remarks on any religion or for that matter on any religious leader have to be taboo and contraveners reprimanded publicly and perhaps imposed fines. However, imprisonment according to Cassandra is too severe.
Just consider how the Buddha treated persons who insulted him or brought false accusations against him including the most obnoxious and totally improbable accusation of fatherhood. Did he even protest, leave along proclaim his innocence. Did he permit a member of the Sangha to refute the accusations? Not at all! He said aloud he did not accept the accusations and insults. Then he asked where the accusations would go to? Back to sender/speaker/accuser. That was all he said.
Thus, any person or persons, or even all following a religion which is maligned should ignore what was said. Let it go back and reside with the sayer/maligner. Of course, the law and its enforcers must spring to action and do the needful according to the law of the land.
One wonders why this sudden spurt of insults arrowed to Buddhism. Of course, the aim is to denigrate the religion of the majority in the land. Also perhaps with ulterior motives that you and Cass do not even imagine. In The Island of Wednesday May 31, MP Dilan Perera of Nidahas Janatha Sabawa (difficult to keep pace with birth of new political parties combining the same words like nidahas and janatha to coin new names) accused Jerome Fernando and Natasha E as “actors in a drama orchestrated by the government to distract people from the real issues faced by the masses.”
We, the public, cannot simply pooh pooh this out of hand. But is there a deeper, subtler aim embedded in the loose talk of Jerome and his followers? Do we not still shudder and shake with fear and sympathy when we remember Easter Sunday 2019 with its radical Muslim aim of causing chaos? It is said and believed that the Muslim radicals wanted not only to disrupt Christian prayer services on a holy day but deliver a blow to tourism by bombing hotels.
Then their expectation was a backlash from the Sinhalese which they hoped to crush by beheading approaching Sinhala avenging attackers with swords they had made and stacked. This is not Cass’ imagination running riot but what a Catholic Priest told us when we visited the Katuwapitiya Church a couple of weeks after the dastardly bombing.
It is believed and has been proclaimed there was a manipulating group led by one demented person who egged the disasters on with the double-edged evil aim of disrupting the land and then promising future security if … Hence, we cannot be so naïve as to believe that Jerome and Natasha were merely careless speakers. Who knows what ulterior moves were dictated to by power-mad black persons and made to brew in the national cauldron of discontent? Easiest was to bring to the boil religious conflict, since the races seem to be co-living harmoniously, mostly after the example of amity set before the land and internationally of Sri Lankans of all races, religions, social statuses and ages being able to unite during the Aragalaya.
We have already suffered more than our fair share of religious conflict. The LTTE exploded a vehicle laden with bombs opposite the Dalada Maligawa; shot at the Sacred Bo Tree, massacred a busload of mostly very young Buddhist monks in Aranthalawa. This was on June 2, 1987, particularly pertinent today. They killed Muslims at prayer in a mosque in Katankudy after ethnically cleansing Jaffna and adjoining areas of Muslim populations.
The Sinhalese, led by ultra-nationalists and drunken goons ravaged Tamils in 1983 and then off and on conflicted with Muslims. Hence the need to nip all and every religious conflict in the bud; no preachers/ Buddhist monks/overzealous lay persons, or comedians and media persons to be allowed to malign religions and in the name of religion cause conflict, least of all conflagration.
Comes to mind the worst case of religious intolerance, hate, revenge and unthinkable cruelty. Cass means here the prolonged fatwa declared against Salman Rushdie (1947-), British American novelist of Indian origin who had a ransom set aside for his life declared by the then leader of Iran, Ruhollah Khomeini, soon after Rushdie’s novel Satanic Verses was published in 1988. The British government diligently ensured his safety by hiding him in various places. After nearly two decades of tight security around him, he ventured to the US on an invited visit. He settled down in New York, believing he was now safe from the fatwa and mad men. It was not to be. In New York on stage to deliver a lecture in 2022, Rushdie was set upon by a lone assailant who stabbed him in the eye, blinding him in that eye and necessitating his wearing an eye band. What on earth was his crime? Writing a fictitious story to succeed many he had written and won prizes for like the Booker.
Religious fanaticism must never be permitted to raise its devilish head wherever, whenever.
Farmer’s fabulously rich son
Often quoted is the phrase coined by the Tourist Board, Cass believes, to describe Sri Lanka. Land like no other. It was completely complementary and justified when it was first used. We were an almost unique island where every prospect pleased, particularly its smiling, easy going people and the wonderful terrain of the land with varying altitudes, climates and fauna and flora.
Then with the decline of the country engineered and wrought by evil, self-gratifying politicians, their sidekicks and dishonest bureaucrats, disparities became stark. Sri Lanka is now in the very dumps: bankrupt, its social, economic and sustainability fabric in shreds and people suffering immensely. But since it is a land like no other with a different connotation, only certain of its population suffer and undergo deprivation and hardship. Others live grand even now and have money stashed high in–house and overseas in banks, businesses and dubious off shore dealings. Some lack the few rupees needed to travel in a bus but most political bods drive around in luxury cars; infants cry for milk and children for a scrap of bread or handful of rice. Plain tea is drunk by many to quell pangs of hunger while the corrupt VIPs quaff champaign and probably have exotic foods flown over from gourmet venues.
And most of those who drive luxury cars, eat and drink exotically and live the GOOD life, did not inherit wealth, nor earn it legitimately. Young men who had not a push bike to ride or Rs 25 to go on a school trip to Sigiriya are now fabulously wealthy. Cass does not want to list how they demonstrate immense wealth possession now.
One case in the news is Chaminda Sirisena, who seems to be very, very wealthy, wearing a ring that is valued at Rs 10 million, and then losing it to cause severe damnation to its stealer. Goodness! Cass cannot even imagine such a ring. Well, he lost it and 5,000 US $ and Rs 100,000. The suspect is his personal security guard. Having never heard of this brother of the ex Prez and he not being the paddy multimillionaire owning hotels, Cass googled. Here is short reply, “Chaminda Sirisena. Owner Success Lanka Innovative Company, Sri Lanka, 36 followers, 36 connections. (The last two bits of info completely incomprehensible and no desire at all to verify). He sure is comparable to Virgin Airways Branson and other top global entrepreneurs to become so wealthy being a son of a man who served in WWII and was given a small acreage to cultivate paddy in Polonnaruwa. When his brother Maitripala became Prez of Sri Lanka it was with pride the comparison was brought in to the American President who moved from log cabin to the White House.
Hence isn’t our beloved, now degraded Sri Lanka, a land like no other with Midases around?
We now have another maybe thief to worry about. No further news of the poor mother whose life was quashed for the sake of a gold ring, leaving three children motherless and probably destitute. When we were young, we were told very early on that if we lost anything it was more our fault; we were careless and placed temptation to less fortunate persons. The Tamil woman who died after being in remand was such a one who needed extra protection from temptation. To Cass her employer is more to blame for the probable theft and for the tragedy that followed.
Snakes of Sri Lanka
By Ifham Nizam
Snake bites are a serious public health issue in Sri Lanka. It has been estimated that nearly 80,000 snake bites occur here every year.Due to fear and poor knowledge, hundreds of thousands of snakes, mostly non-venomous ones, are killed by humans each year.The state spends more than USD 10 million a year on treating snake bite patients.
According to health sector statistics between 30,000 and 40,000 snake bite patients receive treatment in hospitals annually, says Dr. Anjana Silva, who is Professor in Medical Parasitology, Head/ Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Rajarata University.
To date, 93 land and 15 sea snake species have been recorded from Sri Lanka. While all 15 sea snakes are venomous, only 20% of the land snakes are venomous or potentially venomous.
The term, ‘venomous snakes’ does not mean they cause a threat to human lives every time they cause a bite. The snakes of highest medical importance are the venomous ones which are common or widespread and cause numerous snakebites, resulting in severe envenoming, disability or death,” says Dr. Silva who is also Adjunct Senior Research Fellow – Monash Venom Group,Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University and Research Associate- South Asian Clinical Toxicology Research Collaboration, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya.
Only five snakes could be considered to be of the highest medical importance in Sri Lanka: Russell’s viper, Indian krait, Sri Lankan cobra, Merrem’s hump-nosed viper and Saw-scaled viper. All but Merrem’s hump-nosed vipers are covered by Indian Polyvalent antivenom, the only treatment available for snake bites in Sri Lanka.
There are another five snake species with secondary medical importance, which are venomous snakes and capable of causing morbidity, disability or death, but the bites are less frequent due to various reasons (Sri Lankan krait, Highland Hump-nosed viper, Lowland hump-nosed pit viper, Green-pit viper and Beaked sea snake)
The snakes of highest medical importance in Sri Lanka are as follows:
- Russell’s viper (Daboia russelii) (Sinhala: Thith Polanga/ Tamil: Kannadi viriyan)
Medically the most important snake in Sri Lanka. It is found throughout South Asia. It is responsible for about 30% of snake bites in Sri Lanka and also about 70% of deaths due to snake bites in Sri Lanka.
Some 2-5% bites by Russell’s viper are fatal. Widely distributed throughout the country up to the elevations of 1,500m from sea level. Highly abundant in paddy fields and farmlands but also found in dry zone forests and scrub lands. Bites occur more during the beginning and end of the farming seasons in dry zone. It can grow up to 1.3m in length. Most bites are reported during day time.
Over 85% of the bites are at the level of or below the ankle. It is a very aggressive snake when provoked. Spontaneous bleeding due to abnormalities in blood clotting and kidney failure have life-threatening effects.
- The Sri Lankan Russell’s vipers cause mild paralysis as well, which is not life threatening. Indian Polyvalent antivenom covers Russell’s viper envenoming. Deaths could be due to severe internal bleeding and acute renal failure.
- Indian Krait (Bungarus caeruleus) (Sinhala: Thel Karawala/ Maga Maruwa; Tamil: Yettadi virian/ Karuwelan Pambu)
It is distributed in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is found across the lowland semi-arid, dry and intermediate zones of Sri Lanka. Almost absent in the wet zone. Usually, a non-offensive snake during the daytime; however, it could be aggressive at night.
Common kraits slither into human settlements at night looking for prey. People who sleep on the ground are prone to their bites.
Most common krait bites do occur at night. Bites are more common during the months of September to December when the north-east monsoon is active. Most hospital admissions of krait bites follow rainfall, even following a shower after several days or months without rain.
Since most bites do occur while the victim is asleep, the site of bite could be in any part of the body.
As bite sites have minimal or no effects, it would be difficult to find an exact bite site in some patients. Bite site usually is painless and without any swelling. Causes paralysis in body muscles which can rapidly lead to life threatening respiratory paralysis (breathing difficulty).
- Sri Lankan Cobra (Naja polyoccelata; Naja naja) Sinhala: Nagaya; Tami: Nalla pambu
Sri Lankan cobra is an endemic species in Sri Lanka. It is common in lowland (<1200m a.s.l), close to human settlements. Cobras are found on plantations and in home gardens, forests, grasslands and paddy fields. It is the only snake with a distinct hood in Sri Lanka.
Hood has a spectacle marking on the dorsal side and has two black spots and the neck usually has three black bands on the ventral side. When alarmed, cobras raise the hood and produce a loud hiss.
Cobra bites could occur below the knee. They are very painful and lead to severe swelling and tissue death around the affected place. Rapidly progressing paralysis could result from bites, sometimes leading to life-threatening respiratory paralysis (breathing difficulty). Deaths could also be due to cardiac arrest due to the venom effects.
- Merrem’s hump-nosed viper (Hypnale hypnale) Sinhala: Polon Thelissa/ Kunakatuwa; Tamil: Kopi viriyan.
Small pit-vipers grow up to 50cm in length. Head is flat and triangular with a pointed and raised snout. They are usually found coiled, they keep the heads at an angle of 45 degrees. Merrem’s Hump-nosed viper (Hypnale hypnale) is the medically most important Hump-nosed viper as it leads to 35-45% of all snake bites in Sri Lanka.
Merrem’s Hump-nosed vipers are very common in home gardens and on plantations and grasslands. Bites often happen during various activities in home gardens and also during farming activities in farmlands in both dry and wet zones. Hands and feet (below the ankle) are mostly bitten. Bites can often lead to local swelling and pain and at times, severe tissue death around the bite site may need surgical removal of dead tissue or even amputations. Rarely, patients could develop mild blood clotting abnormalities and acute kidney failure. Although rare, deaths are reported due to hypnale bites.
- Saw-scaled viper (Echis carinatus), Sinhala: Weli Polanga; Tamil: Surutai Viriyan
This species is widely distributed in South Asia. However, in Sri Lanka, it is restricted to dry coastal regions such as Mannar, Puttalam, Jaffna peninsula and Batticaloa. In Sri Lanka, this snake grows upto 40-50cm. It is a nocturnal snake which is fond of sand dunes close to the beach. It could be found under logs and stones during daytime. Bites are common during January and February.
It is a very aggressive snake. A distinct, white colour ‘bird foot shape’ mark or a ‘diamond shape’ mark could be seen over the head. When alarmed, it makes a hissing sound by rubbing the body scales. Although this snake causes frequent severe envenoming and deaths in other countries, its bites are relatively less severe in Sri Lanka. Bites could lead to mild to moderate swelling and pain on the affected place and blood clotting abnormalities and haemorrhage and rarely it could lead to kidney failure.
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