SLMA wants President to extend current travel restrictions

Rebecca Pavey | Published: 8:17 PM Jun 19 2021
Local SLMA wants President to extend current travel restrictions

The Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) has requested President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to extend the ongoing travel restrictions at least till 28 June, in light of the newfound Delta variant.

In a letter addressed to the President, SLMA President Dr. Padma Gunaratne raised several concerns pertaining to the recent decision taken with regarding the lifting of the ongoing travel restrictions.

'Given the state of the epidemic, we the Sri Lanka Medical Association in our letter of 11th June requested that the lockdown be extended until, at least, 28th June. We note, however, with grave concern and disappointment that the lockdown will be lifted from 21st to 23rd and re-imposed from 23rd to 25th June 2021.', the letter read.

The SLMA explained that the grounds on which this decision was taken remained unclear to them, as over 2,000 COVID positive infectees and nearly 50 deaths are still being reported in Sri Lanka on a daily basis.

Furthermore, concerns regarding the newfound Delta variant were also raised in this letter. The SLMA explained that given the fact that this variant is 50% more transmissible than the currently dominant variant, the temporary release of the ongoing lockdown will lead to an increased risk of this Indian variant rapidly spreading throughout the country, due to the uncontrolled free movement of people.  

"It is with deep concern that we urge you Your Excellency to continue with the current lockdown measures uninterrupted, at this crucial moment of time. Lifting the lockdown even for a few  days is likely to take us back to the major epidemic situation which prevailed in April this year. The gains that have been made during the lockdown of the last three weeks will then be sacrificed, and it will take all that much longer and a tremendous effort on the part of all stakeholders, to return us even to this level of control again.", the letter concluded.

Rebecca Pavey | Published: 8:17 PM Jun 19 2021

More News