Sri Lanka urges for international debt relief due to COVID-19

"President points out this relief would be helpful to manage COVID-19 Social Distancing, Public Health and Social Security Systems in these countries."

By Author  |  Published: 26th Mar 2020  10:34 am

Colombo: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appealed to international donor agencies to provide debt relief to vulnerable and developing nations who have been hit by the COVID-19 virus, his office said in a statement.

The statement said Rajapaksa has urged director general of the World Health Organization to forward this request to multi-lateral and bilateral lending agencies as economic conditions of these countries were affected by the virus outbreak, Xinhua reported.

“President points out this relief would be helpful to manage COVID-19 Social Distancing, Public Health and Social Security Systems in these countries,” the statement said on Wednesday.

Sri Lanka’s economy has been affected in recent days since the country remains under a curfew to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 which has so far infected 101 people while over 200 remain under observation in hospitals.

Over 11,500 are also under quarantine in homes and centres. The government has banned people from leaving their homes especially in capital Colombo which has seen the highest number of cases in recent weeks, according to statistics from the Health Ministry.

The island’s tourism sector, which was one of the largest foreign exchange earners has also received a blow since the international airport banned passenger arrivals since last week, until further notice.