Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, yesterday (3) told Parliament that she is even ready to sacrifice herself to the sea, if such an act can wipe out the COVID-19 pandemic from the country.
Starting the debate on two Regulations of the Medical Ordinance, she said many people sling mud at her using images of her engaging in a religious activity to invoke blessings, to curb the pandemic.
“The Opposition slings mud at me, saying that I am going to sacrifice myself to the sea. According to legend, this country has the blessings of Gods. I do my best these days to prevent this pandemic as the Minister in charge. Apart from that, I have received many invitations to participate in religious activities to bless the country at this difficult time. I am ready to sacrifice myself to the sea to protect the country from COVID-19,” she said.
In her reply at the end of the debate, Wanniarachchi said the delay in amending the Quarantine and Prevention of Diseases Ordinance was a result of the Government wanting to obtain advice from medical experts.
“Provisions of the Quarantine and Prevention of Diseases Ordinance are applied to the whole country. Everyone should understand that the term public places in the Ordinance means outdoor public places,” she said.
Furthermore, she said the Government has received US$ 128 million as a loan, which should be spent until 2023 and that US$ 35 million from it has been allocated for the health sector. Another US$ 22 million will be spent to develop healthcare facilities as well, she said.
“We have set up 25 centres to conduct PCR tests. About 8,000 daily PCR tests are being conducted islandwide at the moment. In Sri Lanka, COVID-19 deaths have been controlled to a significant extent. It is puzzling as to why about 60 per cent of patients are not showing any symptom of the illness. We have controlled the situation in the Gampaha District and we hope that the islandwide situation can be brought under control soon,” she said.
(Source: Ceylon Today – By Gagani Weerakoon and Methmalie Dissanayake)