- The WHO President called our President and commended the measures we have taken
Making a special statement yesterday, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa commended the sacrifices made by all COVID-19 front line workers and requested all citizens to stay at home by following rules imposed for the benefit of all, as our destiny will be decided by the way we conduct ourselves to fight to defeat the virus and added we have to think about living, as our common enemy is coronavirus.
He said our attention, commitment and discipline would decide whether we will live or die from a pandemic like this.
“You have seen how over 200 countries fight against this pandemic and how the bodies of thousands of people in some countries are being sent to cemeteries. Since the very beginning of the pandemic, the President and the government paid attention to the public well-being. We brought down students from Wuhan, China. We established quarantine centres. Those who went in with sour faces came out all smiles after the quarantine. The President even had to deploy state intelligence service personnel to identify those evading quarantine. We didn’t even impose curfew like this during the war. But we resorted to this decision following the instructions of the health services specialists. The WHO President called our President and commended the measures we have taken. The government has provided direct compensation to over 5 million people so far. We have never taken decisions on political, ethnic or religious basis. And will never do so in the future as well. All political parties have come forward to support the government at this trying time. This is not a time to think based on the religion or ethnicity. We have one common enemy today and that is coronavirus. The Mahanayake Theras made a request not to visit any temple on Bak Poya Day. This shows how caring they are of the people. This is not a time to allow special needs or rituals of any religion or ethnic group. We have set up 40 quarantine centres with all facilities. A special hospital to treat COVID-19 patients was set up in six days at Welikanda.
When the first COVID-19 patient was found, we shut down all schools and universities ensuring the safety of all students. The special task force on COVID-19 by the President is one of the firsts in Asia. The government has taken the responsibility of supplying services such as oil, water, electricity and gas.
We have provided allowances to the senior citizens, the differently-abled, kidney patients, fishermen, farmers and all other beneficiaries. All measures have been made to pay the salary for April to all state workers. 2.3 million Samurdhi recipients received allowances. Entrepreneurs were given the relief of suspension of loan payments.
Some doctors vowed not to discontinue treating the patients until they get infected. Our nurses, ambulance drivers and all health officials render a great service. The armed forces, the police make great contributions and commitment to contain the pandemic. Today, we have a great revival in the country especially among the youth. They are ready to grow crops and they are already fixing up beds needed for hospitals.