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Coronavirus outbreak: Sri Lanka starts program to deliver essential goods to homes, as cases rise to 102

The new program titled 'Wait for us, stay at home', will be implemented through a local system in collaboration with Cooperative Societies and supermarket chains.

Published: 26th March 2020 12:26 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th March 2020 12:26 PM   |  A+A-

Sri Lankans queue for kerosene as a police officer stands guard during a temporary lift of a curfew as virus-containment measures in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

Sri Lankans queue for kerosene as a police officer stands guard during a temporary lift of a curfew as virus-containment measures in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, March 24, 2020. (Photo | AP)

By IANS

COLOMBO: To encourage physical distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Sri Lnkan government hs started a special programe to deliver essential goods including medicines and food items, to homes, it was reported on Thursday.

The new program titled "Wait for us, stay at home", will be implemented through a local system in collaboration with Cooperative Societies and supermarket chains, The Daily Financial Times quoted Head of the Presidential Task Force on Continuous Supply, Operation and Coordination of Essential Services, Basil Rajapaksa as saying during the launch on Wednesday.

ALSO READ: Sri Lanka's first COVID-19 patient recovers, discharged from hospital​

"The entire process should be in line with the coronavirus control initiatives carried out by the health sector. It is imperative to maintain the day-to-day life of the public. Steps have been taken to distribute food items, while protecting domestic farmers and the national economy," a statement released by the President's Media Division (PMD) said.

The PMD statement said there was no shortage of rice, coconut, vegetables, eggs, and chicken.

In the meeting, Rajapaksa had pointed out the possibility of distributing these items through a combined effort between Cooperative outlets and supermarkets after purchasing from domestic farmers.

A decision was also taken to deliver medicines to the homes of regular patients who have registered at hospitals, with the support of Divisional Secretaries, Public Health Officers, and the security forces, said te Daily Financial Times report.

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It was also discussed to implement a system to distribute medicines through a few locally selected pharmacies, to patients who purchase medicines from private pharmacies.

Heads of banks were also advised to take action to keep commercial banks open, to facilitate trade and other essential activities.

Rajapaksa requested the authorities to implement a program to supply domestic gas at consumers' doorsteps, responding to telephone orders.

"The objective of the entire project is to prevent the public from gathering at marketplaces, so that the health sector's efforts to combat the coronavirus could be a success."

It was also decided to facilitate cultivation and fisheries activities without any interruption.

Sri Lanka currently has 102 coronavirus cases with no deaths.

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