Health experts try to revive coronavirus masks, remotely in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s health ministry announced on Sunday that daily coronavirus infections have risen from 10 to 25. The ministry advised residents to resume masking, social distancing and vaccination reminders.

The bewildered residents of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka have many other things on their minds right now, such as the total collapse of their economy and government.

Dr Hermantha Herath, Deputy Director General of Sri Lankan Health Services, said the rise in coronavirus cases was cause for “concern” but not “alarm”.

In truth, the bump in the cases barely registers, as Sri Lanka’s last major coronavirus wave died down in March. Since a key feature of Sri Lanka’s turbulent spring and summer has been huge angry street proteststhe increase in cases described by Dr. Herath seems lower than one would have expected.

There appears to have been little concern for masking or social distancing during the protests. Last week protesters stormed the estate of now ousted President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, huddled in his garden and took a dip in his pool. A few of them wore masks, but not many.

Protesters demanding the resignation of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa swim in a swimming pool inside the compound of the Sri Lankan Presidential Palace in Colombo on July 9, 2022. - Embattled Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has fled his residence official in Colombo, a senior defense source told AFP.  , before protesters gathered to demand his resignation stormed the compound.  (AFP photo)

Protesters demanding the resignation of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa swim in a swimming pool inside the compound of the Sri Lankan presidential palace in Colombo on July 9, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

Sri Lanka’s crumbled government was a disaster in many ways, but it managed to get almost 80% of the population vaccinated with at least one dose, which has helped its vital tourism industry recover from the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.

Tourism in Sri Lanka has proven quite resistant to survive coronavirus, terrorist attacks and even the apocalyptic downfall of the Rajapaksa government.

Sri Lanka’s interim president Ranil Wickremesinghe – recently promoted to prime minister after Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country and resigned via email – declared the state of emergency on Monday. Protesters still take to the streets and demand his also resign.

Wickremesinghe blamed some “nefarious elements within society” for continuing the protests, which he vowed would not interfere with his efforts to secure a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Acting President Wickremesinghe has promised resign after the formation of a unity government and the election of a new president, unless the unity parliament elects him, which is a distinct possibility as he is one of the most prominent candidates. Despite its optimistic claims of progress in negotiating a bailout, the IMF seems reluctant to strike a deal until a permanent government is established.

As some disgruntled Sri Lankan officials have been point outRajapaksa could have poisoned the country’s chances of obtaining international financial aid by borrowing billions of dollars from China and waste money on crazy socialist and environmental programs.

A mother and child carry Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders in Colombo on June 11, 2022. (Photo by Pradeep Dambarage/NurPhoto)

A mother and child carry Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders in Colombo on June 11, 2022. (Photo by Pradeep Dambarage/NurPhoto)

Sri Lanka also blew a fortune on China’s woefully ineffective coronavirus vaccines, allegedly paying a much higher price per dose than in other developing countries.

According to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), food inflation in Sri Lanka has reached 58%, about 22% of the population is in need of food aid and 86% of families are skipping meals or eating inferior quality to survive.

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