COVID prevention programmes: Estate workers in the dark
By Buddhika Samaraweera
President of the Low Country Estate Labourers’ Union (LCELU) Ruwan Gallage says that people living on estates are unaware of the programmes in place to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
He said that in a background where a number of patients infected with the COVID-19 virus have been identified in areas such as Galle and Mirissa, no programme was implemented to educate the people living in the plantation areas on steps which have to be taken. He also said the Government had promised to raise the wage of plantation workers to 1,000 rupees a day since last March, but it is yet to be implemented.
Gallage further said that the COVID-19 virus is more likely to spread rapidly in plantation areas as a large number of families are living in a limited space. However, he said that neither the public health inspectors nor any other officials had come and given necessary advice to the people.
“The Government is discussing various development projects. It is unfortunate that in such a situation there is no plan to improve the living standards of the estate workers living in poor conditions,” he added.