Public Health Inspectors across the island are to suspend their services related to the control of the Covid-19 pandemic from Saturday (April 4) unless their needs are met by the government.
Issuing a statement, the Public Health Inspectors’ Union President M.G.U. Rohana said that with the present need for pandemic control, Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) across Sri Lanka have been engaged in their duties, sans any request for benefits.
However, the Union alleged that basic needs pertaining to their services have not been met by the state thus far, despite these officers carrying out their duties with minimal facilities for nearly a month. The Union said officers would be forced to suspend their services unless the government meets four specific demands, including basic personnel protection for PHIs, transportation requirements for field work and other basic requirements including the provision of food.
Meanwhile the union also stated that the lack of legal provisions to protect officers engaged in their duties pertaining to disease control, subjects officers to risk.
The statement also pointed out that PHIs were engaged in their duties exposing not only themselves but their families to the risk of contracting the deadly disease. It is regrettable that the government has failed to facilitate the basic safety and wellbeing of PHIs, the statement added. (Kalani Kumarasinghe)