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Former Sri Lanka health minister calls for immediate lockdown; says COVID-19 cannot be treated like terrorism

ECONOMYNEXT – Calling for a total lockdown of the country to contain the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, former Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the pandemic can only be defeated through medical science and not by deploying the military.

Senaratne told reporters today that the novel coronavirus cannot be defeated like terrorists by relying solely on the tri-forces.

Referring to a statement attributed to the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) yesterday, the former minister said: “Some may think that just because we have a president who defeated terrorism, COVID-19 can also be defeated like terrorism. This cannot be done.”

GMOA Secretary Dr Haritha Aluthge told reporters yesterday that terrorism and an epidemic are two different things and that the procedures followed in both instances are completely different.

Senaratne said that, for the first time, the GMOA has moved away from politics and has realised that if it continued to back the government, they would not be able to face the people in the prevailing situation.

Reiterating his call for a lockdown, the former minister said the country must shut down before it’s too late and things get out of hand the way they did in Italy. (Colombo/Mar20/2020)

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