- Potential risk of second wave if health guidelines are ignored
By Yohan Perera
Sri Lanka should be prepared to face a possible second wave of COVID-19 pandemic without delay, former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday.
Speaking during a gathering at UNP Headquarters Sirikotha yesterday, Mr. Wickremesinghe said the government did not seem to have focused on it.
“President Gotabaya Rajapaksa took several steps to control the first wave of COVID-19. UNP also came up with some proposals which were accepted by the government. The pandemic was successfully controlled due to this reason. Some accused us of getting into deals with the government. We only intervened on behalf of the people,” Mr. Wickremesinghe said.
“There was an opportunity to bring in a new legislation to control COVID-19. We, in the UNP made several proposals in this regard. We called for the increase of testing. This was ignored,” he added.
“Sri Lanka should ready itself to stand up to a possible second wave even at this moment. Health is a major issue faced by the Sri Lankan people currently. It is also a major issue for other countries as well. It is everyone’s duty to prevent a second wave. UK is greatly affected by COVID-19. It is questionable whether the UK could get out of this crisis. How could Sri Lanka get out of it if a country like the UK is unable to get out of it?” the former Premier questioned.
“The second wave has already been found in the USA and in China. Over 100,000 have died of COVID-19 in the USA, despite claims made by President Trump that it was not a major issue. It is also spreading in New Delhi and Mumbai and rampant in some parts of Europe. Some parts of the UK have gone into a lockdown once again. The WHO had warned of a second wave,” he cautioned.
The Former Prime Minister then questioned about how Sri Lanka had utilized the funds received from the WHO. “The government received these funds at a time when it went on saying there were no funds to carry out testing. WHO claimed that it had given US$ 230 million to Sri Lanka. However, Minister of Health claimed the government only received US$ 1.9 million. Government should come up with a clarification on it. Mr. Wickremesinghe also said it was not fair to blame the navy for the COVID.-19 spread in Sri Lanka and said the sailors were not given protective equipment.
- We, in the UNP made several proposals in this regard. We called for the increase of testing. This was ignored