Deshapriya urges smaller gatherings during election campaign to fight COVID19
ECONOMNYNEXT – The Elections Commission has requested all political parties and independent groups contesting the upcoming Parliamentary General Elections to refrain from holding processions or large scale rallies until further notice.
The Chief Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said that use these measures are being taken because of the “threat posed to the country by the COVID19 or coronavirus.”
He said that contestants coming to the Election Commission office or designated offices throughout the country to hand in their nomination papers should limit themselves to the person handing in the papers and one or two others.
“Please do not bring supporters to the offices, and request them not to stay around the premises as well,” Deshapriya said in a press release.
The campaign for the election was to begin this week but COVID 19 has dampened the enthusiasm.
The authorities have taken strict measures to prevent gatherings, closing schools, discouraging the holding of Sunday Masses and other congregations of a religious nature.
Health officials are saying that with most incoming flights canceled they are hoping that by preventing gatherings the country can prevent or mitigate secondary community transmission of the virus.
Up to now these officials say the confirmed cases have originated from incoming infected persons from overseas, mostly Italy, home to many Sri Lankan migrant workers.
- Arjuna Ranawana