Instead of wasting time to secure vaccines, the government must take steps to control the rapid spread of COVID-19, UNP leader and former PM, Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday.
Wickremesinghe said that when the UK variant, first appeared, Britain had closed the country for a month. At least the country should be locked down for two weeks, the former PM said.
“There is no point in pondering the impact of the lockdown on our economy. Sri Lankan economy is already in deep trouble. The government must now decide whether human lives are more important than money,” he said.
The former PM said that the government had locked down the country at a time when there was no need for such a measure. Now, when the country needs to be locked down, it is making people go to work in crowded buses and trains, he said.
“The rupee didn’t collapse because of COVID-19. If we don’t control the spread of the virus, the economy will shrink further. The government needs to understand that daily workers are already suffering and keeping the country open will only prolong their suffering.”
Wickremesinghe said that England had managed to get things under control by closing the country down for a month. He added that a number of people including himself had asked the government to order vaccines by January 2021. China has either donated or sold 250 million of their vaccines and a number of countries benefited from placing early orders, he said.
“Even countries like Myanmar got enough vaccines. Because the Rajapaksa administration had no plan, we are short of vaccines and we don’t have a plan to control the virus. Only USD 200 million is needed to vaccinate all Sri Lankans. The government must somehow find the money,” he said.
(Source: The Island)