Former Prime Minister and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe charged that serious problems have arisen regarding the government’s programme to control the spread of COVID-19 especially due to lack of testing.
Mr. Wickremesinghe made this remark when a group of UNP representatives from the Galle District met him at UNP Headquarters Sirikotha today.
He said the government has only conducted about 690 PCR tests a day since February 18, although he and his opposition have repeatedly called for the government to increase the number of PCR tests to detect the Coronavirus.
Mr. Wickremesinghe pointed out that the United National Party has given the government the support needed to deal with the pandemic.
“UNP had supported the government to deal with Covid-19 pandemic. This is similar to the stance adopted by other opposition groups in many foreign countries who have been supporting the affairs of their respective countries. He recalled how he made this stance clear at the first Party Leaders Meeting in March. There were only 102 coronavirus cases reported in Sri Lanka that day and no deaths had been reported. However, the number of cases had surpassed 1,814 since then,” he said.
Mr. Wickremesinghe said that the number of coronavirus patients in the country has increased as the government has ignored the views of the opposition and even health professionals.
“Vietnam, a neighbour of China, which has three times the population of Sri Lanka said that their number of coronavirus cases is still at 350 and no deaths have been reported, he said.
UNP Leader said that the country had to be locked down for a long time due to the failure of enforcing proper health and safety measures.
Mr. Wickremesinghe pointed out that many people have been deprived of their income due to this situation.
He said the government should take full responsibility, and the Cabinet and the Minister of Health should be held responsible for not bringing in masks and necessary health equipment despite adequate warning.
He also questioned the government as to what the US$ 230 million, which had been provided by the World Bank to fight COVID-19, had been spent on.
Wickremesinghe said that if the government had acted properly, the coronavirus could not have spread through the Navy and Air Force personnel.
The UNP leader said that the government has still failed to provide the necessary equipment to the officials who are committed to suppressing the virus.
“The other serious issue is that the government has not provided any information to the opposition about the corona control programme. Ranil Wickremesinghe accused the government of depriving them of the opportunity to work for the country by sharing their experiences with the government,” he also said.
(Source: Daily Mirror – Yohan Perera)