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Chief Elections Commissioner warns of “grave danger” of COVID 19 spread at crowded rallies

MAKE THEM THE LAW – Mahinda Deshapriya wants the COVID 19 Health Guidelines gazetted as Regulations

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Chief Elections Commissioner is warning that because people attending the political rallies are not following Health Department Guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID 19, there is a great danger of the virus spreading at these events.

Mahinda Deshapriya blames bureaucratic delays for not making the guidelines which were issued by the Director-General Health Services in early June official Regulations.

“The Legal Draughtsman and the Attorney General have given their approval for these regulations and we have been informed that the President has also given the go-ahead but for some reason, they have not been Gazetted,” he said.

Gazetting the regulations make them enforceable as laws.

“As a result, at the rallies, thousands of people are crowded together without masks,” he observed.

In case there is even one COVID 19 infected person there is a grave danger that many people could become infected, he pointed out.

Therefore we are asking those responsible to immediately make these Regulations so that these can be enforced.

“We also call on these prominent politicians, their organisers and helpers to ensure that people maintain social distancing, wear masks and keep their hands clean,” Deshapriya said.

“We also call on all citizens to follow these guidelines as it is your responsibility and duty to do so.”

Deshapriya also said that the Commission has started to final training sessions for senior officials who will be in charge of the Counting Centres in Colombo and all other districts. (Colombo, July 10, 2020)

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Reported by Arjuna Ranawana