Nov 09, Colombo: President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says the health service of this country can easily suppress the COVID-19 pandemic and what’s needed is the support of the people.
“COVID-19 epidemic is a "health" problem. It is the responsibility of the health service and the government to protect the people and move the country forward. I strongly believe most knowledgeable Sri Lankan doctors and the health sector can do that,” the President said.
The President made this observation at the daily meeting of the COVID-19 Suppression Task Force at the Presidential Secretariat this morning (09).
“We have three options in the face of the epidemic. One is to impose a curfew and lock down the country, the second is to do nothing, the third is to control the disease and keep the country as normal. We chose the third option,” the President said.
“Our doctors and staff have been able to identify the COVID-19 patients and provide right treatment in the first stage,” the President noted.
“Therefore, intensive care services were not required. The people should also support the control of the spread of the disease and prevent themselves from getting infected,” said President Rajapaksa.
“After COVID outbreak was controlled satisfactorily, the media as well as the people forgetting everything and neglecting the responsibility have led to the present situation.”
The country cannot remain closed until the plague is eradicated from the world. We must understand the reality and act accordingly. Daily infections are being reported even from places closed for 40 days. This shows that closure alone will not eradicate the epidemic. The easiest thing is to close the whole country. But people have to live. It is my responsibility to protect the economy by engaging in all activities including employment, agriculture and fisheries. The government spends more than 60 million rupees a day on PCR tests. A huge amount of money is spent daily on the whole process, including quarantine,” he said.
The President said it was "the duty of the people to take personal responsibility" to understand this situation and prevent themselves from contracting the disease.
Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, Member of Parliament Madura Vithanage, Secretary to the President PB Jayasundera, Chief Adviser to the President Lalith Weeratunga and members of the Covid Task Force were present at the discussion.