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* Rs. 70 billion spent on COVID-19 welfare activities, PM says
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 01:53 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Nov 12, Colombo: Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa states that the government has so far spent Rs. 70 billion to provide relief to the people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and for other COVID-19 related activities such as identification of patients, quarantine activities, and random testing.

The Prime Minister presenting the 2020 Budget Proposal in Parliament today (12) said despite the limits set by the Vote-On-Accounts and the weak budget and economy, the government has taken a massive effort to manage the COVID-19 epidemic.

“However, the government has spent around Rs. 70,000 million for the identification of patients, quarantine tests and related welfare activities that are currently underway.”

“Hospital capacity for disease prevention, which was limited to Colombo, has now been increased to 17 hospitals in less than a year covering almost all parts of the country.Number of special care beds for Covid patients have been increased to around 600."

"Daily PCR testing capacity for the diagnosis of the disease has been increased to an average of 7,500-10,000 tests per day with each test costing around Rs. 6,000, with the daily expenditure exceeding almost Rs.50 million."

“Government also spends a sizable amount for the food and welfare of those on 14-day the quarantine. In the meantime, an allowance of Rs.5,000 is granted to low income families that are adversely affected by the COVID pandemic. Apart from that, the Government is also bearing expenditures related to the payment of the allowances of public servants who are engaged in those services and other related expenditure," he said.

He also said in his budget speech that in spite of the deaths due to the effects of the unexpected second wave of COVID-19, the government has been able to maintain a relatively low death rate around 0.3 percent.

 

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