the COVID-19 virus expected to peak in the country between 4-11 April, UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday appealed to the Government to take several new measures urgently to ensure that the country is prepared to deal with a rapid increase in the number of infected persons.
In a statement, Wickremesinghe said steps should be taken to come up with a joint plan of action between the State and private sector health facilities to function under the Director General of Health Services as this would widen access to healthcare facilities for the public.
The other measures he proposed were for private hospitals to carry out the tests free of charge and the Government to reimburse the monies, and for collaboration between the State and private sector to import the necessary equipment.
The UNP Leader said he had made a request from the Japanese Embassy in Colombo to consider providing Sri Lanka with some of the medical equipment that was obtained in preparation for the Olympic Games, which were to be held in July-August, and called on the Government to follow up on this issue with the Japanese Government to obtain some of this equipment as the Olympics had been cancelled.
He also called for proper arrangements to ensure that Sri Lankan and Indian fishermen maintain their distance in the high seas as well as to come up with a program so that proper health precautions would be in place for the Sinhala and Tamil New Year as well as Ramadan festival and Easter Sunday terror attack commemoration activities.
The former Prime Minister also called on the Government to ensure that the distribution of essential items is not confined to big cities but is done all over the country.
He also thanked those in the medical profession, Police, members of the armed forces, and all others for the dedication with which they were working, and asked the Government to ensure that they, too, were safeguarded.
“Many countries have promulgated new laws to deal with this situation. We will support any of the Government’s actions, if done with good intention,” he said.