SL has high COVID-19 spread – Marikkar
By Nabiya Vaffoor
Sri Lanka is one of the countries which has a high COVID-19 spread in the community, said SJB MP S.M. Marikkar.
“Though government authorities claim that there is no community spread of COVID-19 in our country, when it was checked as a percentage of detected, infected and the population, it is crystal clear that Sri Lanka is one of the countries which has a high rate of COVID-19 spread in the community,” he added.
He further noted that Medical Officers of Health (MOHs) in some areas have claimed that the PCR tests will only be conducted once a week, since the Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) were only provided with five kits per week.
“They are planning to quarantine first contacts at home, which is risky. Some of these first contacts weren’t even directed to PCR before advising them to quarantine at home. When people questioned the MOH in this connection, he claimed PCR tests will only be conducted once a week, since the PHIs were only provided five kits per week. Where are the 25,000 PCR kits which were provided by China? If this is how the Government provides facilities, then they are the main reason behind the second wave of COVID-19 in this country,” Marikkar said.
Marikkar further noted that home quarantining for clustered and populated areas is risky.
“It has been almost a week since curfew was imposed in Wellampitiya, Bloemendhal, Mattakkuliya and Kotahena, Colombo District Police divisions. The Government hasn’t taken any step to provide Rs 5000, the minimum relief that they are bound to pay these people. Instead of these Police divisions, Gothatuwa, Mulleriyawa, Grandpass, Dematagoda, Fort, Pettah, Welikada and Borella are facing the same issue. The public in these areas use to live clustered. It increases the risk of spreading when these people are quarantined at home,” he added.
He further emphasised that people in the above-mentioned Police divisions aren’t capable of stocking food for the whole quarantine period, due to poverty, and the Government has put them in trouble by not providing them with Rs 5,000.
“Over 10 people live in one home in these areas. Most of them are daily wage earners. They have lost their source of income. After two to four days of curfew they are out of money and basic rations. How does the Government expect people to live in such a situation?” he said.
He further noted that the Government was heartless enough to focus only on its personal agendas, such as obtaining a two-thirds majority and the 20th Amendment. He further emphasised that the Government should conduct more random PCR tests in populated areas.
Marikkar said so yesterday (27), during a Media briefing held at Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Headquarters.