Superstitious beliefs and practices should not be given priority over the scientific process in facing the COVID-19 pandemic, says Dr. Anil Jasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Environment.
Various new discoveries are being made around the world to control the COVID-19 virus. One group in Sri Lanka has faith in the scientific process, while others have a tendency to follow myths and superstitions in spite of scientific methods, he noted.
“All we have to do to suppress COVID-19 is to follow scientific methods without falling back on superstitions and giving credence to myths”, he said at a ceremony to mark the New Year at the Ministry of Environment on Friday.
Dr. Jasinghe, a consultant Surgeon, said COVID-19 is a virus that has rendered helpless the whole world. Today, some countries are socially impoverished. This is because of the disparity in income distribution in many countries. Although, Sri Lanka is a developing country, income distribution disparity is lower than many other countries in the world. Therefore, the economy has still not been crippled due to the epidemic in the country.
By mid 2021, four or five new vaccines will be introduced worldwide. There are already moves to introduce more new vaccines. Vaccine companies generally provide 20 percent of the stock to the public free of charge. Every country in the world is trying hard to secure the vaccines to protect their people. Therefore, countries like ours should also do so, he emphasized.
The COVID-19 vaccines enhance the body’s immunity to the virus. At least 70 percent of all people must be vaccinated to maintain optimal immunity in society. That is a difficult goal. But if at least 50 percent can be given the vaccine, it will be somewhat comforting, Dr. Jasinghe further said.
Vaccine companies need to accelerate production. Otherwise, poor countries may not be given priority and this will prove to be an impediment towards suppressing the virus. The people of our country now have a greater level of knowledge about Covid-19 than in March last year, he said.
Various information on COVID-19 is being published in the mainstream media and on social media, he said.
What is needed is to have access to more accurate information. To control the virus, it is necessary to provide accurate information to society, he added.
(Source: The Island)