ECONOMYNEXT – The Shaman Dhammika Bandara who is touting a potion that cures or immunizes people from the Covid 19 virus is under investigation for assault, the Police Media Division said.
Bandara is alleged to have assaulted a group of persons including two doctors who met him at his Kegalle residence last week.
Police Media told EconomyNext that the incident had taken place at Bandara’s residence and that the complaint against him had been lodged by a doctor working at the Peradeniya Teaching Hospital.
The complaint has been referred to the Kegalle Superintendent of Police for investigation, Police said.
EconomyNext has reached out to the Government Medical Officers Association for comment.
Bandara’s potion which he was allowed to claim on the pro-government TV channel Adaderana will cure Covid 19 and immunize those who take it for “life” has been distributed and sold widely.
The “cure” received fresh local and international attention after State Minister Piyal Nishantha has become the fourth Parliamentarian to test positive for Covid 19 following a Rapid Antigen Test conducted on him.
Nishantha publicly consumed the Dhammika potion when it was presented to Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene in late December.
In a post on his official Facebook account, Nishantha the state minister of Women and Child Development, Preschools & Primary Education, School Infrastructure & Education Services, has asked everyone who had come in contact with him last few days to inform the health authorities and support them in order to find his contacts.
Accordingly, ten of his staff members who were identified to have close contacts with the state minister are now in quarantine.
Nishantha accompanied President Gotabaya Rajapaksa during the opening of the Ferentino Tire factory in Horana on Thursday.
It is not known whether he was Covid positive at the time.
Bandara’s concoction has been approved by a special committee and has been described by government spokesmen as a food supplement and not necessarily a cure.
Public Health Inspectors in the Kegalle area have expressed concern that those who have consumed the potion believing that it will immunize them from the virus are not following health department guidelines to prevent the spread of the disease.
The Public Health Inspector of the Warakapola area told EconomyNext that the syrup touted by Bandara the local custodian of a Hindu Temple had been sold in the Udukumbura Othnapitiya area and “many residents claim to have consumed it.”
PHI Jayantha Kumara said several Covid 19 positive patients had been reported from the area and he and his colleagues have issued a warning that residents must “follow the Health Department guidelines to maintain social distancing, wash hands frequently and wear a mask.”
“There is a significant danger of these people believing that they are safe from the virus because they have taken the potion and are disregarding the advice we give,” he said.
“We cannot say for certain whether those who contracted the virus in the area had taken the potion or not,” Kumara told EconomyNext.
At least a dozen people in the immediate vicinity are being treated for the disease in the Warakapola hospital he said. (Colombo, January 20, 2021)
Reported by Arjuna Ranawana