SJB Kalutara District MP Dr Rajitha Senaratne told Parliament yesterday that if the government had heeded the calls from the Opposition to take timely action against the COVID-19 outbreak, the country would have been safe.
Participating in the debate on the pandemic at the time of the adjournment of the House, Dr Senaratne said that COVID-19 was not just a local problem but one of the
greatest crises that had befallen on the entire human civilisation.
“Yesterday, alone 2,297 suspected cases were traced and out of them 167 tested positive. Sixty had left the hospital after recovery and 2404 remained hospitalized. “There are 27 centres treating and there are 2,077 beds in hospitals to treat them. There are 186 beds remaining to treat them. This includes the beds in the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital, of which 400 beds are used today. When the hospital was taken over under my purview, I was blamed.
The Government Medical Officers’ Association criticised me for taking it over. If that hospital is not there what would have been the result?
“At the outbreak of the pandemic we asked the government to close down the airports. We asked the government to go for a lockdown on March 20. Our calls were not heeded.
“Thereafter, they had to do as we told them. But it was late then. Although it has been stated that we are better than most other countries, as per the international reports we are not on the list of top 40 safe countries. There are variations of COVID-19. The ‘A’ version has been found in Sri Lanka, Australia and the US etc. China had the B version while the C version was found in Europe.
“The advantage that we have is that we are a tropical country where the humidity and temperature work against the virus. That should be capitalised on to fight against the virus,” former Health Minister said.
(Source: The Island – By Saman Indrajith)