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Who calls the shots?

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COVID-19 management and accountability:

Hats off to Prof. Sunil Wimalawansa who has pointed out the “a major hiatus of “systems thinking,” relevant expertise, and leadership, of managing COVID-19 in Sri Lanka that continues to date”. (Ref. Feature Article on 05/11/20, titled, “Failure to Manage Covid 19: Who is Responsible? A hiatus is said to be “a short pause in which nothing happens or is said, or a space where something is missing.” In the run-up to the elections in August this year, there was a sense of Corona Virus being almost non-existent seen in the words and actions of the major players and leaders in the political arena. The public naturally would take the cue from such lackadaisical attitudes and practices. Therefore, it is indeed refreshing to hear “professionals” using their training, experience and expertise to comment honestly without holding the can for populist cover ups! In a moribund public service replete with its rising quota of sycophants and boot lickers each vying with the other to win some prominence, privilege or promotion from the Political Hierarchy such voices of professional integrity” are rarely heard and are fast becoming extinct!

The public is no doubt eternally beholden and grateful to the hundreds of medical personnel, para- medical and public health officers, and the steadfast commitment of the Military to implement government policy under the committed leadership of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. However, the vital question is whether the policy of containment/eradication of Covid-19 is handled by the real experts who have specialised in the relevant fields inter alia, public health, pandemic control, communicable diseases? Are generalists who enjoy sitting on committees and contributing nothing but their own egotisms and amateurisms, misleading the government on crucial and vital areas of public health? Are studies done without international peer review or validation merely to suggest that the second wave of Corona is more virulent and stronger than the first and therefore the responsibility of not being able to control it sufficiently somehow lies within the virus itself!

A responsible Government has a primary accountability in ensuring the health of its citizens. It is a healthy citizenry that will deliver on the economic front which is the bedrock of a nation. Therefore. the million dollar question asked by the People is how could a island state with a small fledgling beginning of a mere 200 COVID patients in the first quarter of the year do a gigantic leap to over 12,187 identified cases with approx.over 400 new patients detected per day. All this in a matter of a few months! The origin of the enormous cluster of COVID emanating from Minuwangoda Brandix premises still remains a mystery. The company continues to deny that over 300 visitors from India during the period under review had anything to do with the burgeoning virus. In which case, we are back to another “hunt the slippers” kind of conundrum attributing the countrywide spread in 22 districts to fish vendors of Paliyagoda! Contact tracing apart, laying the blame on the carelessness of the citizenry in following public health precautions and confining them to lockdown does not seem to solve pressing problems of how the small entrepreneur or worker and even big business will survive this crisis without being reduced to penury! The problem is compounded when clinical practitioners themselves admit that the number of PCR tests conducted since the first outbreak in March 2020 amounting were woefully inadequate. There seem to be transparency issues when some responsible officers threaten to pull out of Technical Committees over the failure of others to have GPS app to track virus! It was only in October 2020 with the new surge of the Corona virus that some regulations relating to control of Covid-19 were gazetted and PCR random sampling took place to the tune of 10,000 per day compared to abysmal levels earlier in the year. No wonder then that a former Director of the MRI was transferred over night after stating publicly that the Corona Virus had been present in the community for the past few months.

Therefore, it is the right of the public to know whether the Task Force and Ministry of Health administration entrusted with the overall management of Covid-19 and laying out policies and practices are drawn from the relevant medical specialties as public health, prevention of communicable diseases and pandemics, how many of these are Board Certified Consultants in the relevant field of such diseases and its transmission, with specific training for preventing the spread of communicable diseases in particular. Are nepotism and cronyism the criteria for the inclusion in such crucial policy making committees of some medical personnel who were seen on election and political platforms prior to the Covid-19 outbreak? Or, is the common malady in the public service, of being dumb and saying nothing controversial and truthful at meetings in the proverbial feudal manner that attends our polic makers?

 

Sonali Wijeratne

Kotte

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Features

Hair Growth and Thickness

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LOOK GOOD – with Disna

 

* Oil:

Oiling is an old home remedy for hair growth and thickness. Oiling is also used for the strength, shine, and length of hair, from ancient times. The use of coconut oil, especially, is very effective when it comes to the amplification of hair health. Additionally, there are many essential oils for faster hair growth which you can use, too.

* How to Use: Generally, hair oiling works best when applied overnight. You could use this therapy every night, or after each night, then wash your hair, in the morning, before heading for studies, or work.

 

* Aloe Vera:

Aloe vera has long been used as a home remedy for hair growth, thickness, and treating hair loss problems It contains vitamins A, C, and E. All three of these vitamins are known to contribute to cell turnover, supporting healthy cell growth and shiny hair. Plus, vitamin B-12 and folic acid are also included in aloe vera gel. Both of these elements can keep your hair from falling out. Aloe vera plants can be easily grown indoors. A leaf can be plucked, occasionally, and cut open to reveal its gel. This gel needs to be applied on the scalp, basically, to provide nourishment to the roots.

*  How to Use:

Rub this gel on your head properly, leaving no area dry; wash after half an hour or so. Keeping this massage as a part of your weekly routine will eventually make your hair thick and long.

 

*  Green Tea:

Green tea is often consumed as a home remedy for weight loss. Surprisingly, it has many other benefits, including hair-related benefits.

* How to Use:

Consuming green tea once every day can add to the strength and length of your hair. If your body is extremely comfortable with green tea, then you may even consume it twice every day.

 

* Onion Juice:

A bi-weekly application of onion juice can relieve you of your tension, regarding hair health. The smell can really torture you, but divert your attention in doing something else for a while, like making a puzzle or washing the dishes. From an early age, onion juice has been used as a home remedy to control hair fall. Research has shown that onion juice has been successful in treating patchy alopecia areata (non-scarring hair loss condition) by promoting hair growth .

* How to Use:

Take half onion and blend it. Apply the mixture on every nook and corner of your scalp and let it sit for some 60 minutes, or so. Shampoo it off when it’s time for the hair-wash.

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Features

Fun-loving, but… sensitive

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This week, my chat is with Nilu Vithanage. She is quite active, as a teledrama actress – having done four, already; her first was ‘Pavela Will Come In The Cloud, Mom’ (playing the role of a nurse). Then Came ‘Heavenly Palaces’ (student), ‘Black Town’ (a village character Kenkaiya), and ‘Wings Of Fire,’ currently being shown, with Nilu as a policewoman. You could checkout ‘Wings Of Fire,’ weekdays, on Swarnavahini, at 7.30 pm. Nilu is also active as a stage drama artiste, dancer…and has also been featured in musical videos.

And, this is how our chit-chat went…

1. How would you describe yourself?

Let’s say, I’m a bit on the playful side, and I like to have a lot of fun. But, I do find the time to relax, and, at home, it’s dancing to music! Yeah, I love dancing. Oh, I need to add that I’m a bit sensitive.

2. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I get angry quickly. Fortunately, that anger doesn’t last long – just five to 10 minutes. But I wish I could get rid of anger, totally from my system!

3. If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?

Nope, can’t think of anything, in particular. Everything is fine with us, and I’m proud of my only brother, and I feel safe when he is around. Or, come to think of it, if I did have another brother, I would feel doubly safe…when going out, in particular!

4. School?

I did my studies at two schools – C.W.W. Kannangara Central College, and Panadura Sumangala Girls’ School for my higher studies. Representing my school, I won first place in a speech competition and dance competition, as well.

5. Happiest moment?

When my husband comes home, or talks to me on the phone. He is stationed in Hatton and those calls and home visits are my happiest moments

6. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

I really find a lot of happiness feeding the fish, in ponds. I love to see them rush to pick up the tidbits I throw into the pond. That’s my kind of happiness – being close to nature.

7. Are you religious?

I would say ‘yes’ to that question. I like to go to the temple, listen to sermons, participate in meditation programmes, and I do not miss out on observing sil, whenever possible. I also find solace in visiting churches.

8. Are you superstitious?

A big ‘no.’ Not bothered about all those superstitious things that generally affect a lot of people.

9. Your ideal guy?

My husband, of course, and that’s the reason I’m married to him! He has been a great support to me, in my acting career, as well in all other activities. He understands me and he loves me. And, I love him, too.

10. Which living person do you most admire?

I would say my Dad. I truly appreciate the mentorship he gave me, from a young age, and the things we received from him

11. Which is your most treasured possession?

My family.

12. If you were marooned on a desert island, who would you like as your companion?

A camel would be ideal as that would make it easier for me to find a way out from a desert island!

13. Your most embarrassing moment?

One day, recently, with the greatest of difficulty, I managed to join a one meter distance queue, to withdraw money from an ATM. And, then I realised I didn’t bring the card along!

14. Done anything daring?

I would say…yes, when I ventured out to get involved in teledramas. It was a kind of a daring decision and I’m glad it’s now working out for me – beautifully.

15. Your ideal vacation?

I would say Thailand, after reading your articles, and talking to you about Amazing Thailand – the shopping, things to see and do, etc. When the scene improves, it will be…Thailand here I come!

16. What kind of music are you into?

The fast, rhythmic stuff because I have a kind of rhythm in my body, and I love to dance…to music.

17. Favourite radio station:

I don’t fancy any particular station. It all depends on the music they play. If it’s my kind of music, then I’m locked-on to that particular station.

18. Favourtie TV station:

Whenever I have some free time, I search the TV channels for a good programme. So it’s the programme that attracts me.

19. What would you like to be born as in your next life?

Maybe a bird so that I would be free to fly anywhere I want to.

20. Any major plans for the future?

I’m currently giving lessons to schoolchildren, in dancing, and I plan to have my own dancing institute in the future.

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Features

Snail-napping sets the stage for CGI road trip

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The SpongeBob Movie:Sponge on the Run

By Tharishi hewaviThanagamage

Based on the famous and one of the longest-running American animated series that made its debut on Nickelodeon in 1999, created by marine science educator and animator Stephen Hillenburg, ‘The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run’ is the latest addition to the SpongeBob movie franchise, coming in as the third installment after ‘The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie’ (2004) and ‘The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water’ (2015).

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