By Thilini Seram
The Covid 19 epidemic had a negative impact on all countries without any distinction. In countries like China, America, India, Brazil, Italy the number of patients was very high. The corona epidemic has crippled the economies of a lot of countries. Revenue from tourism was lost. Import export trade was stopped. As a result of Coronavirus, the economy of every country in the world came to a standstill. In some countries, the epidemic has spread to uncontrollable levels due to the weakness of political leaders. Even during the epidemic there were mass protests for that. People were affected by the stoppage of flights and revenue from tourism was lost. Every country had to face many situations like these due to the corona epidemic. Let us examine how the Covid 19 situation has affected the political, economic, social and cultural aspect of Sri Lanka.
In January 2020, the first corona patient was reported from Sri Lanka. As of today, April 2022, a total of 663,329 corona patients have been reported. The number of deaths due to this was 16,504. Given this situation in the country, it can be seen that the impact here has been severe on all sectors.
The current president, Gotabhaya Rajapaksha, was able to suppress the first wave of corona very successfully. Therefore, in the August 2020 General Election, the Sri Lanka People's Front party was able to win 2/3 of the seats in Parliament. It is an unprecedented win in Sri Lankan politics. Nowadays, Corona patients are on the rise again but this time the wave is out of control. Therefore, the government has been subjected to the mistrust and displeasure of the people. Various parties and people have already started agitations against the government.
A nationwide curfew was imposed due to the spread of the corona epidemic. As a result of such curfews, a lot of people lost their jobs. It affected mainly small and self-employed businesses. People who made money from day-to-day jobs have lost their livelihoods. Therefore, a lot of assistance was provided to the people:
- The price of essential food items was reduced;
- Low income families received an allowance;
- The repayment of loans from banks was stopped during the curfew periods;
- The deadline for the payment of electricity bills was extended;
- Non-functioning employment agencies were paid a basic salary for their employees.
Many similar concessions were made in the early stages of the corona expansion. However, during the curfew period, the country's economy collapsed due to the blockage of all sources of income. At present, the prices of all commodities, including essential food items, have risen sharply. The control price imposed on rice has also been abolished. The economic problems in Sri Lanka have become unbearable for the people affected by the corona epidemic.
The Covid 19 pandemic has had a great deal of impact on different social sectors, namely the following:
- People lost their jobs.
- Poverty increased.
- Increased activism of agitations demanding various reliefs.
- Inadequate public transportation to maintain social distance.
- Curfew and isolation which made it difficult to get even the necessary food items.
- Disruption of children's education due to suspension of schools, universities and tuition classes and the inability of poor children to access online education
- Conflicts in society due to non-compliance with proper health advice.
The corona epidemic also affected the culture of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is a multicultural country with ethnic groups such as Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. Those groups have their own culture. For instance, normally, the corpses of people who died of coronavirus were cremated, but Muslim citizens said cremation was against their religion: this caused a clash between the two cultures. Therefore, to respect all religions and cultures, Muslims were allowed to bury the bodies.
Sri Lanka has been hit hard by the spread of Coronavirus, which has been seen in the present article through an analysis of the impacts on different sectors, and further measures must be taken on all the above mentioned sectors if wishing to solve these struggles.
- The website of Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka
- Computational and Mathematical methods in medicine: an article: W.P.T.M. Wickramaarachchi, S.S.N. Perera, S. Jayasingha