Those above 60 eligible for Sinopharm jab – Minister

By Dilanthi Jayamanne | Published: 2:00 AM May 14 2021

By Dilanthi Jayamanne 

State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics, and COVID-19 Control, Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle, said the Government had decided to administer the Sinopharm jab to those above 60 years of age. Dr. Fernandopulle said yesterday (13) the decision was taken during a meeting of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19. The vaccine is to be administered to those above 60 years with no health complications, she said.

 Head of the National Operations Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO), Gen. Shavendra Silva, reassured the public the coronavirus jab would be administered to all those who need the vaccine. Speaking to the Media, he said arrangements were being made to purchase the required doses of the vaccine brands. Also, the Government has ordered 13 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine as of now, Silva said. Another 900,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was due to be imported by the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC) by the end of June, he said.

 Meanwhile, the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) said they had proposed the formulation of a national programme to control COVID-19 comprising experts with the technical knowledge in disease prevention, community health, epidemiological diseases and clinicians. GMOA Secretary, Dr. Senal Fernando, said yesterday (13) that this was only till the Epidemiology Unit was able to overcome its shortcomings, which had led to the current crisis in the country. “We made the request from the Health Ministry and hopefully would have a favourable outcome,” he said.

 He said over the years, Sri Lanka’s ability in disease control and prevention had received international recognition on many occasions. This too would be a programme focussing on disease control and prevention. The GMOA Secretary said it was likely that the coronavirus would remain in the country for several years. And having watched the struggle the Epidemiology Unit was having due to lack of proper guidance by the Epidemiology Chief, the Unit has had to depend on various other quarters to help fulfil its duty.

By Dilanthi Jayamanne | Published: 2:00 AM May 14 2021

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