Thursday, January 28, 2021

Western Province Schools to open by February 15

Sri Lanka Education Ministry is hoping to re-open the schools in the Western Province (WP) by February 15, Education Ministry Secretary Prof. Kapila Perera said. Western Province Schools to open by February 15.

He said the Education Ministry should act based on the information received from the non-health risk schools and accordingly could commence educational activities in other schools in the rest of the areas in the WP. Hence, such recommendations should be submitted to the Ministry before February 10.

Based on that, decision will be taken subsequent to the recommendation by the Director General of Health. He said the District Development Committees will meet on January 28, 29 and February 1 to take appropriate decisions regarding the commencement of schools with the participation of the Regional Health Officers.

Accordingly, it was revealed that there are 1,576 schools in 11 education zones in the WP, from those schools, nearly 79,000 children are scheduled to sit for the GCE Ordinary Level Examination scheduled to be held in March, he said.

The Health authorities have agreed to open 907 schools in the WP from January 25 for the students who will appear for the O/L Examination this year, he said.

It was decided at a discussion held at the Ministry yesterday about the commencement of schools for other grades in the WP after consulting all parties including the Government Agents, Divisional Secretaries and Chairmen of the Regional Development Institutions in each District, Prof. Perera added. Source – DailyMirror

Sri Lanka conveys its gratitude to India for Covid19 vaccine gift

Expressing its gratitude for India’s help in a time of need, Sri Lanka has thanked New Delhi for its gift of 5 lakh Covid-19 vaccine doses. The island-nation received the consignment of Covishield vaccines from India on Thursday, reports IndiaNewsNetwork

A statement from the Sri Lankan President’s office stated that vaccination is set to commence from January 29 at six main hospitals in the Western Province. The island-nation has prioritized 150,000 health workers, 120,000 members of tri-forces, police and security forces, the release added.

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa took to Twitter to acknowledge India’s help. He said, “Received 500,000 Covid-19 vaccines provided by people of India at BIA today (28). 

Thank you PM Shri Narendra Modi and people of India for the generosity shown towards people of Sri Lanka at this time in need.”

India’s gift of vaccines was handed over to President Rajapaksa at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) by High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay in a programme titled ‘Vaccine Maitri- Gifting of India’s Covishiled Vaccines to Sri Lanka’.

The vaccines, weighing about 1,323 kg, will initially be stored at the airport’s cold storage facilities before being transported in refrigerated vehicles to 25 districts at a temperature of 2-8 degrees Celsius.

India has supplied a consignment of 500,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine manufactured by Pune-based Serum Institute of India. Sri Lanka’s drug regulatory authority had earlier this month approved emergency use of the Covishield Vaccine.

The vaccines that reached Colombo on Thursday are India’s gift to the island-nation under its ‘Vaccine Maitri’ initiative, under which it has supplied vaccines to seven other countries in the South Asian region.

The supply of vaccines by India is a fulfillment of the promise made by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa during the bilateral summit held in September last year.

Prime Minister Modi had pledged all possible support to the island-nation for minimizing health and economic impact of the pandemic.

Sri Lanka is an important constituent of India’s Neighbourhood First policy. In keeping with this policy, New Delhi launched Operation Vaccine Maitri under which it supplied Covid-19 vaccines to Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Myanmar, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had paid a three-day state visit to Sri Lanka in January and had discussed cooperation for post-Covid health and economic recovery. Jaishankar had received a formal request from Sri Lanka for India’s assistance in obtaining the Covid vaccines.

Source – IndiaNewsNetwork