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US to require negative COVID tests for travellers from China

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The United States will require negative COVID-19 tests for travellers from China, US health officials have said, after China’s decision to lift stringent restrictions to contain the virus.

According to Al Jazeera, the officials have said on Wednesday that the new policy, which will kick in on January 5, will apply to all air passengers over two years old from China, Hong Kong or Macao.

Tests must be taken “no more than two days before their departure”, a health official said. Travellers who test positive more than 10 days before a flight can provide documentation of recovery in place of a negative test result.

On Monday, Beijing said it would scrap mandatory COVID quarantines for overseas arrivals from January 8, prompting many in China to rush to plan trips abroad.

China has experienced a recent surge of COVID-19 cases after it rolled back its strict anti-virus controls. The so-called “zero COVID” policies, which included lockdowns and extensive testing, had curbed the spread of the virus but also led to public frustration and hampered economic growth.

China has faced international criticism over alleged inconsistencies in its official COVID data reporting.

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Easter Sunday bombings : Rs. 295 mn. paid as compensation

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The annual reports of the Office of Reparations have revealed that over Rs. 295 million (295,499,069) have been paid as compensation to victims and property damage of the Sunday Easter bombings.

Under this, Rs. 273,747,000  have been paid as compensation for 719 victims while Rs. 21,752,069 have been paid as compensation for property damages.

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350 medical specialists have left SL

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A study conducted by a group of specialist doctors at the Ministry of Health has revealed that 350 specialists have left the country during recent times.

Many of them have left for countries such as UK and Australia. According to a spokesperson of the ministry, economic hardships have been cited as one of the main reasons for them to do so.
Doctors suggest that the government should provide an immediate solution to this issue.

Commenting on the issue, Secretary of the Health Ministry – Dr. Palitha Mahipala says that there is still a shortage of anesthetists and pediatricians after most of them had left the country.

However, some who have gone for training, are returning after their training is complete, he adds.

Meanwhile, sources in the Health sector also say that over 200 nurses too have gone overseas, but new recruits have enabled to prevent hospital operations from continuing without hindrance.

(Source : Lankadeepa)

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Details of SL recruits in Russian military, sought

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Sri Lanka has sought a report from Russian authorities on details of Sri Lankan military recruits and how many of them have died during the Russian-Ukraine conflict, the ‘Aruna’ newspaper reports.

According to a directive by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Embassy in Russia has forwarded this request to the Russian Ministry of Defence.

Previously, the Human Trafficking, Human Smuggling and Maritime Crime Investigation Division (CID) arrested a retired major and an employment agent, identified as leaders of an organized scheme that recruited retired military personnel as mercenaries for the Russian army.

The Defence Ministry in Sri Lanka has urged the Tri Force commanders to brief Tri Force personnel not to fall for such rackets.

(Source : Aruna)

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Retired Major & agent arrested for recruiting SL mercenaries for Russian Army

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