Sri Lanka has called on Overseas Sri Lankans (OSLs) and Friends of Sri Lanka in the US to contribute medical equipment and relief goods, as well as to make donations, in the face of the urgency resulting from the increasing number of COVID-19 infected persons being detected and deaths in Sri Lanka and the challenges posed in the treating of the Delta variant.
Sharing the new request made by the State Ministry of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals on specific medical equipment presently in urgent need in the Government hospitals, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the USA Ravinatha Aryasinha while appreciating the financial and material assistance already provided by the Sri Lanka community and Friends, has urged them to continue to support these efforts.
The medical items immediately needed are oxygen concentrators, BIPAP Machine, IR Thermometer, Pulse Oximeter, Multipara Monitor Basic, Ventilators ICU, Infusion pump, Syringe Pump, CRRT, Blood Gas Analyzer, Blood Fluid Warmers, USS Portable, X-ray mobile, Ventilator Neonatal, CPAP infant and CPAP Neonatal. Necessary approval will be facilitated from the National Medicine Regulatory Authority (NMRA) and Imports licenses from the Department of Imports & Exports.
Meanwhile, the Embassy in Washington D.C. together with the Sri Lanka Consulate General Office in Los Angeles and the Sri Lanka Permanent Mission to the UN in New York, has facilitated the transmission and clearance of medical equipment and relief goods donated through Temples and other religious bodies, Foundations, Associations and individual philanthropists. In this regard, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance together with Sri Lanka State Pharmaceuticals Corporation and line agencies including the Sri Lanka Customs, have extended timely assistance in facilitating clearance of donations at the ports of entry with tax concessions.
Following its initial donation of 1.5 Million doses of Modern vaccines through the COVAX facility aimed at helping to control infection numbers and saving lives, the US Government on 28 August 2021 made a further donation of 100,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to Sri Lanka also through the COVAX facility. The US Embassy in Colombo has noted that “since the pandemic began, the United States has partnered with the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health, providing over $15 million in emergency supplies and critical services, including 200 ventilators. This assistance has reached millions of people in all 25 districts and nine provinces of Sri Lanka to control the spread of COVID-19, address the urgent health needs of the Sri Lankan people, and mitigate the pandemic’s negative economic impacts.” (Colombo Gazette)