Government prepared for lockdown if experts recommend – State Minister

Channa Jayasumana

The Government is prepared to go for a lockdown if health and other experts recommend, Pharmaceutical Production, Supply and Regulation State Minister Prof.Channa Jayasumana said yesterday.

Speaking at a public function in Anuradhapura yesterday the state minister said however, the government will not dance to the tune of some people who are pawns of petty politics and politicians.

“The allegations made by the Opposition and some others that the government is not listening to the health authorities to control the spread of the pandemic should be investigated first. Who are these authorities? There are several official committees in the Ministry of Health dealing with this matter. There is also an epidemiology unit. There is a Presidential Task Force. Various parties give their advice for this. Recommendations are made. There are trade unions and other academic groups working outside of that. We are bound to work in accordance with the recommendations we officially receive. We will not hesitate to implement those recommendations if the health sector makes those recommendations”.

The state minister also said that when deciding on a total lockdown the government also should think about the adverse effects it could cause to the earnings of low-income earners as some of them were daily wage earners.

The state minister meanwhile also warned about the emergence of highly contagious new corona virus variants. He said some of these variants have not entered Sri Lanka yet but the possibility of this happening in future cannot be ruled out. He said the Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta variants are all considered variants of concern by the WHO and part from that lambda and another vaccine-resistant new mutation called epsilon has already been detected in various countries. After Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Lambda, now the Epsilon variant of the COVID-19 virus is in the focus of researchers around the world.

(Source: Daily News)