The SJB MP said that it is a ridiculous situation where certain Ministers are making statements that if medical specialists recommend a lockdown, the Government will comply. Every medical body in this country has been appealing to the Government to impose a lockdown, even the WHO, the MP said.
Quoting the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) letter sent to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa warning that the COVID pandemic in the Western Province is escalating to a high risk level, MP Senaratne said that the SLMA has warned that Sri Lanka is on the cusp of a major COVID-19 pandemic, even worse than any previous experiences with this virus.
He said that the SLMA is the country’s oldest medical union. He added that they had appealed to the Government to immediately lock down the country or impose a curfew to prevent further spread of the virus.
MP Senaratne said that all the medical colleges had collectively written to the President urging him to immediately impose movement restrictions, warning that all the hospitals had exceeded their full capacity and that there were no new beds available for new COVID patients.
He said that a meeting had been held between 14 Sri Lankan medical specialists and 16 World Health Organization specialists and they had warned that the daily cases could exceed 600 by mid-September. “But we have already reached that number,” the MP said.
He said that they had warned that deaths would reach 200 per day by October.
The former Health Minister highlighting a request made by a Minister who asked the people not to wait until the Government imposes restrictions as the lives of the public is at risk and appealed to the public to impose self-restrictions and protect their own lives, said that shows to what level the situation had deteriorated and the pathetic situation faced by the Health Ministry.
He said that in such a situation when all these medical specialists, all medical colleges and even medical specialists within the Government are admitting that the situation in the country is very serious, the Government still claims that they are waiting for the medical experts to recommend a lockdown. “What a ridiculous situation this is. Who are the medical experts that they are waiting for to give the signal to impose a lock-down?” the MP asked.
Former Health Minister Senaratne also accused the Government of hiding the factual COVID infection numbers and the number of deaths. He said that a military officer is behind the distorted numbers pertaining to COVID deaths and infections.
He said that a “Major General” has been found to be involved and he is the one who has been responsible for the collection of the numbers of infected and deaths and he hides the actual numbers and gives false figures misleading the public.
MP Senaratne said that this was the cause for the disparity in the number of people reported dead or infected from COVID.