Tuesday, 07 April 2020 10:08

Committed to providing relief sans discrimination: President

Samagi Jana Balawegaya commends measures by Govt. to combat COVID-19
Pre-testing of infected conducted under guidance of experts
Service of PHIs lauded
Essential drugs to be imported from India
More suitable economic model explored, Govt. considering tourism and apparel support
President requests employers to pay attention to those who had stranded in the city


Top Government officials yesterday said that a fresh shipment of medicines would reach Sri Lanka from India today as the Government continued its efforts to public needs of essential items were met.

This was conveyed when President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa discussed matters relating to the prevailing situation in the wake of the COVID-19 spread with the representatives of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday.

President Rajapaksa elaborated on the measures already taken by the Government to prevent the spread of the lethal virus and the future actions in this regard, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said in a statement.

The responsible manner which the Government acted following the declaration by the World Health Organization about the pandemic was explained by the President. The Government was able to take several swift actions to safeguard the citizens of this country, the President said.

“Every step to ensure uninterrupted day-to-day civilian life was taken. These timely measures were instrumental in controlling the spread. Actions were taken under the guidance of experts in collaboration with the health sector and security forces. Pre-testing with the assistance of medical consultants to identify the infected and those associated with them will continue. This will be helpful for the early detection of the affected,” the President added.

The quarantine process continues at 40 centres. Programs have been initiated with the assistance of Public Health Officers (PHIs) to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in areas where the infected have been identified. The President lauded the service of the PHIs in detection and observation processes.

The representatives of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya expressed their satisfaction over the measures taken by the Government so far. Both parties agreed that this should continue without political or any other differences.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa stated that if there were any shortcomings in the Government programs, immediate action would be taken to rectify them.

President Rajapaksa and Samagi Jana Balawegaya Leader Sajith Premadasa requested employers to attend to the needs of their employees who are engaged in various daily wage based industries including the construction sector as they can get stranded and have not been able to return to their homes.

A stock of essential medicine required for daily healthcare services including medicine for Non-Communicable diseases is to arrive in the island from India today upon the request of the Government, the statement added.

The President explained that, after taking the current global economic and social crisis into account, plans were already underway to implement an appropriate economic model suitable to Sri Lanka.

President Rajapaksa highlighted that experts had been consulted to uplift the apparel and tourism industries, which had suffered a setback, and the Government would take action under their instructions when the opportunity permits.

In addition to Samurdhi beneficiaries, 700,000 senior citizens, disabled persons and kidney patients have been granted an allowance of Rs. 5,000 without any discrimination. Presidential Task Force Chief Basil Rajapaksa stated that if any individual had not received their allowance yet, he/she was entitled to make an appeal with their respective Grama Niladhari Officer.

Ministers Dinesh Gunawardena, Nimal Siripala De Silva, Wimal Weerawansa, Dullas Alahapperuma, Bandula Gunawardana and Johnston Fernando represented the Government while the Samagi Jana Balawegaya was represented by its Leader Sajith Premadasa and General Secretary Ranjith Maddumabandara. Secretary to the President Dr. P.B. Jayasundera and several others were present as well.

(FT)

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