He says when the coronavirus was brought under control after the initial spread in Sri Lanka, the public and the media disregarded their responsibilities.
The President’s media quoted the President as saying that the country is facing the current crisis because the public and the media disregarded their responsibilities.
The President said that the health sector is capable of controlling the COVID-19 pandemic and what is needed is the support of the public.
“The COVID pandemic is a health issue. The responsibility of protecting people against the virus and steering the country forward lies with the health sector and the Government. I strongly believe that Sri Lankan doctors and the health sector, one of the best in the world, can easily achieve the target,” the President said.
He made these remarks at a discussion with members of the Task Force on COVID Prevention held at the Presidential Secretariat today (9).
“We have three options in the face of the spread of the pandemic. The first is to lock down the entire country by imposing curfew. The second is not to do anything. Carrying our normal activities while controlling the disease is the third option and we opted for that,” he said.
The President said that the media has a responsibility and duty to communicate health guidelines that need to be followed to the general public.
“The country cannot remain closed until the pandemic is wiped out from the world. We have to understand the ground reality and act accordingly. Infected persons are reported daily even from areas that have been closed for nearly 40 days. This shows that the pandemic cannot be controlled by lockdown alone,” he said.
The President said that it is the responsibility of the Government to keep the economy going while ensuring all the activities including employment, agriculture and fishing move forward.
He said that the daily expenditure by the Government to conduct PCR tests exceeds Rs. 60 million.
The President also said that huge sums of money is spent daily on the entire process including quarantine.
Ministers Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Keheliya Rambukwella, Member of Parliament Madura Vithanage, Secretary to the President P. B. Jayasundera, Principal Advisor to the President Lalith Weeratunga and members of the Task Force were present during the discussion.