COVID-19 Pandemic: Biz sector responds positively | Daily News

COVID-19 Pandemic: Biz sector responds positively

People stand apart from each other at an ATM Kiosk in Ambalangoda yesterday. Picture by Wimal Karunathilaka
People stand apart from each other at an ATM Kiosk in Ambalangoda yesterday. Picture by Wimal Karunathilaka

Over the last few days the Sri Lankan business community has taken major initiatives to transform the way they do business and also to support authorities through donations in a responsive effort to face the current challenges following the Coronavirus pandemic.

Supermarket chains and suppliers were successful in managing hundreds of customers who thronged supermarkets yesterday  to replenish essentials in districts other than Colombo, Gampaha, Puttalam and five districts in the Northern Province- as the three day curfew ended in those districts temporarily for a few hours.

The authorities of most supermarkets and retail chains had taken precautionary measures to protect both customers and their staff members in a move to control the spread of Coronavirus. The previous day they said, they will ‘make sure no one panic buys large volumes after curfew ends’. As per instructions given by the retailers customers entered shops with face masks and keeping the one meter distance from each other.

Some retail stores and cooperatives have taken measures to keep the orders ready in advance by asking the retailers to forward their food and essential supply lists by What’s App, Viber and other similar communication methods. And several more have taken a further step to organize delivery services as well.

Several business organizations offered the Government buildings and properties to be used as medical facility and/or quarantine centres. Executive Director of Citrus Resorts Dilith Jayaweera wrote to the president saying, “At this time of national need, we humbly offer Citrus Waskaduwa to the Government for use as a “quarantine centre” during the COVID-19 crisis.”

Chairman John Keells, Krishan Balendra wrote to the President, offering John Keells Group’s resort in Trincomalee for use as a quarantine centre for COVID-19 on a temporary basis, should the need arise.

Meanwhile, Chinese billionaire Jack Ma said in a Twitter message he would donate medical supplies and ventilators to help fight the Coronavirus to a number of Asian nations including Sri Lanka. He wrote, “Go Asia! We will donate emergency supplies (1.8M masks, 210K test kits, 36K protective suits, plus ventilators & thermometers) to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.” He has already made a similar donation to several African countries.

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