Colombo, February 10 (newsin.asia) – Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has announced that Sri Lanka will commence the burial of remains of Covid victims.
Opposition MP SM Marikkar pointed out that State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics, and COVID Disease Control, (Dr.) Sudarshini Fernandopulle had informed Parliament yesterday that COVID-19 does not spread through water.
Citing this statement, MP Marikkar questioned the Government under what grounds it is still refusing to grant permission for the burial of the remains of Covid victims in the country.
To which the Prime Minister responded saying that permission will be granted for burials in the future.
In April last year, the Sri Lankan government amended a law to make cremation compulsory for those who fall victim to the novel coronavirus with the intention of preventing any potential threat. The Quarantine and Prevention of Diseases Ordinance (Chapter 222) was accordingly amended by an extraordinary gazette notification issued by Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi.
Concerns were raised by various parties, including the Opposition, over the forced cremation of Muslim Covid victims in the recent past.
An expert committee had earlier rejected burials, citing the risk of the virus spreading through water.
Previously, UN human rights experts had urged the Sri Lankan Government to end its policy of forced cremation of COVID-19 victims, saying it ran contrary to the beliefs of Muslims and other minorities in the country and could foment existing prejudices, intolerance and violence.