Lockdown proponents have no practical solutions to revive economy – Johnston

Johnston Fernando

None of those who espoused the lockdown have practical solutions to revive the economy hard hit by the pandemic, said Chief Government Whip and Highways Minister Johnston Fernando yesterday.

Minister Fernando said: “A country cannot be shut down for ever in fear of a virus. We should aim to bring to normality to the country with a massive vaccination drive in the coming weeks”, he said.

“President Gotabaya Rajapaksa last Saturday addressing the nation explained the situation we are in. We must all look above petty political differences to keep the country’s economy going,” the Minister said.

Minister Fernando said that lockdowns will worsen the economic situation that had been affected by the pandemic restraints. “Those who earn a daily wage are already cursing political and civil society leaders for exhorting the Government for a lockdown.”

He said the health experts and WHO officials too have only the solution of vaccination against the COVID-19 virus. “Shutting a country down is not a solution in the face of a pandemic. Thanks to the efforts by the President, the country is receiving vaccines and we should expedite the massive vaccination drive,” Minister Fernando said.

“We hope that people will understand that the Opposition has only one role, that is to oppose whatever that we the Government would do. That is the nature of politics but this is not a time for such narrow political gains,” he said.

Fernando said the Opposition has no single standpoint.

“One day they keep asking for the closure of the country. The next day they demand to open the country. The Opposition is only interested in playing pandemic politics using the people as bait. The Opposition led the people to the streets for rallies during the past couple of weeks paying total disregard to the warnings of health officials. They sacrificed people for their political objectives. This is their game,” Minister Fernando said

“The Opposition is now pontificating about the value of health guidelines. The Government is keeping the country’s economy going despite the restraints of the pandemic. We must plan on opening the country and going for the stage of new normalization. That is what the other countries are doing. We must complete the vaccination drive as soon as possible and think of opening the country soon,” the Minister said.

(Source: Daily News)