Sri Lanka on Friday extended the Covid-19 lockdown till September 21, the President’s office said. The decision to extend the lockdown was made during the Covid task force meeting chaired by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The quarantine curfew will now be in force till 4am on September 21. It has been imposed since August 20.
Amid concerns over growing Chinese footprints in Sri Lanka, the island nation is looking to boost defence and security ties with India with an integrated country strategy paper drafted under new high commissioner Milinda Moragoda, who finally took charge here on August 30, calling for a significantly enhanced cooperation.
Japan is donating 1.4 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to Sri Lanka, which has been facing a severe shortage of AstraZeneca vaccine to complete the second dose. The Japanese donation follows a personal request made by Sri Lanka president Gotabaya Rajapaksa to the Japan prime minister Yoshihide Suga, said a statement from the president’s office.
This would also give impetus to Beijing’s wolf-warrior diplomacy centred Belt and Road Initiative, effects of which the world has already witnessed when Sri Lanka was forced to hand over its Hambantota Port to China on a 99-year lease as part of a controversial debt-swap arrangement.
The Catholic Church in Sri Lanka wrote to the president on Tuesday raising concerns about the government’s handling of the suicide bombings and asking it to investigate alleged links between intelligence personnel and the group that carried out the attacks.
Mixing two vaccines is still being studied for its effectiveness, but Sri Lanka health officials approved it due to a severe AstraZeneca shortage.
Over 90 Indian workers at an ironworks factory in Sri Lanka tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday, health officials said. The Indians were among the around 120 workers at the factory in Colombo north suburb of Wattala who were found to have contracted the virus.