While claiming that only 16 per cent of the Covid-19 Fund has been used so far, The National Peoples’ Power (NPP) yesterday questioned as to why the fund was not used effectively to facilitate the people affected by the covid-19 Pandemic.
NPP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake told Parliament yesterday that there was Rs. 1640 million in the Covid-19 Fund as at September 30 and added that only Rs. 268 million had been allocated to be used so far.
“According to government reports, only Rs. 268 million of the Fund is set to be used so far. Rs. 100 million is allocated for PCR tests and only Rs. 42 million from it has been spent so far. Only Rs. 24 million out of Rs. 100 million allocated for awareness programmes has been spent,” he said.
Mr. Dissanayake questioned as to why the Fund was not utilized to benefit the people affected by the pandemic and pointed out that the Fund should be used at least to provide a coffin for the people who are dying from Covid-19.
“The government is charging Rs. 20,000 from the family of patients who die from Covid-19. Bodies of Covid-19 patients are not given to their families. They are cremated by the health authorities. However, the family of the patient has to provide a coffin or pay Rs. 20,000 to purchase a coffin. Families of these dead people are either from lockdown areas or under quarantine. They cannot afford to pay Rs.20, 000 at this difficult moment,” he said and requested the government to use the Covid-19 Fund to provide at least a coffin to ease the burden of the affected people.(Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera)