Colombo, August 26 (NewsWire) – Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has made a special request to the Government with regard to the current islandwide lockdown that is in effect in Sri Lanka.
Issuing a statement, the United National Party (UNP) Leader said according to medical advice, the current islandwide lockdown has not been imposed for a sufficient period.
Ranil Wickremesinghe said it is essential for the lockdown to be extended for another week or two.
Mangala Samaraweera, who spoke to Samantha Powers and requested vaccines for Sri Lanka has also passed away. In addition to him, Mr. Rajamahendran, similarly D.S. Wijesinghe President’s Council is among the large number of well-known people who have become victims of COVID-19.
On Monday and Tuesday, six people I knew passed away due to COVID-19. There is a rapid spread of COVID. The number of deaths came up to five thousand (5,000) on August 7th, twenty (20) days later by the end of this day it will be eight thousand (8,000). Three thousand (3,000) deaths have taken place in twenty 20 days. That is a high rate, the number of people affected will be about fifty thousand (50,000).
The epidemiology unit has said that there have been late entries, so they will have to revise these numbers by about four thousand (4,000). This means that the statistics are also being questioned.
Nevertheless, we know that there is a rapid spread of COVID, and we have to prevent that. We have to prevent people from being impacted by COVID-19.
What is happening at the moment is deal with those who are already infected, then if we stop the rapid spread then we can reduce the number of those infected and control it. The Government declared a ten (10) day lockdown for this purpose. This has received everyone’s support, but according to the medical advice this is not a sufficient period. Another week to two (2) weeks are required.
The other side of it is the economic damage that can be caused by a lockdown, but today we have reached a point where the damage caused by a lockdown is far less than the damage caused by not having a lockdown. The remedy for this is to immediately go to the IMF (International Monetary Fund) to get assistance. Already we have received US $720 million from the IMF for our COVID control campaign.
So, therefore, I would like to recommend to the Government, the President, the Prime Minister, and the Cabinet of Ministers that we extend this lockdown according to medical advice.
Just as much as we have supported the lockdown for ten days, I am sure that the whole country will support a further lockdown in accordance with medical advice.