Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi today asserted that the decision taken by the experts' committee to cremate all COVID-19 related dead bodies will not be changed on any social, religious, political or personal grounds.
She told Parliament that the decision of the expert committee is to cremate all COVID-19 related dead bodies and added that the government will firmly implement that recommendation.
“Recommendation of the committee is to cremate the bodies of those who die of COVID-19 as of now. We will implement that recommendation firmly. We will not change such experts' opinion at this point where the country is facing a serious pandemic situation. Hence, under no social, religious, political or personal grounds, this decision will be revoked,” she reiterated.
The Minster said this in response to a question raised by Tamil National People's Front MP Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam on Standing Order 27/2.
Responding to a question raised by the MP who said a second committee comprising of virologists had given the green light on the burial of COVID-19 remains, she said no such committee had been appointed and added that a group of virologists had only met state minister Sudarshani Fernandopulle and expressed their opinion.
Minister Wanniarachchi said she had obtained in writing the proposals of the virologists who had met the state minister and referred their opinion to the expert committee appointed to recommend on the burial or cremation of COVID-19 remains.
“They are studying the proposals by now. We have not received the decision of the expert committee as yet,” she said. (Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera)