Sep 18, 2021

Health Ministry not consulted on re-opening wine stores

Deputy Director General of  Public Health Services, Dr. Hemantha Herath says that the decision to reopen liquor outlets was not one taken by the Ministry of Health.
 
Speaking to the media today (18), Dr. Herath said that there is no basis or argument to allow the opening of liquor outlets given the current situation, especially in a country where all other businesses are closed.

” In such a situation the Ministry of Health does not encourage the sale of liquor,” He stated.

Commenting on the crowds observed at liquor stores, the Deputy Director General of Health also stated that it is not possible to allow health workers to break into liquor stores and manipulate crowds to behave accordingly, as it is up to law enforcement.

In addition, he stated that most decisions are taken by a mechanism between the health sector and the security forces, however authorities dealing with this matter are Police and Excise Departments. The Deputy Director General of Health Services also stated that decisions regarding reopening establishments are usually taken by the Government with the involvement of the health sector and the security forces.

” If situations like these continue to occur in the future and people gather like this, I think we will have no choice but to go back to where we started.” He mentioned.

However, according to the quarantine regulations imposed under the Quarantine and Prevention of Diseases Ordinance No. 03 of 1897, the competent authority is the Director General of Health Services.

DG Health Services imposed the curfew on the island on the 11th September and extended it.

In announcing the situation, the Director General of Health Services did not permit to reopen wine stores in the country

Deputy Director General of Health stated that he was aware that the competent authority, the Director General of Health, had not given any approval for that.

However, the Excise Department announced yesterday that it has allowed the opening of wine stores and places selling beer cans and bottles.

(newsfirst.lk)
Top