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Government urged to increase testing to control second wave of Covid 19

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka should decide whether to keep the country running in a new normal situation where the Covid 19 pandemic is accepted as a reality we have to deal with or go in for a lockdown once again, National People’s Power leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake told Parliament today.

Opening a debate on the current Covid situation Dissanayake said the country appreciates the work of the government, the Health Services and the Security Forces in containing the pandemic but “we have to realize that we are in the midst of a second wave,” he said

He also said that officials have said that they have not discovered how the virus entered the Brandix apparel factory in Minuwangoda, one of the epicentres of the current Covid outbreak.

“I urge you to conduct a full investigation into the issue, did any staff who were brought from India work in the factory and were they properly quarantined,” asked.

From the government side Professor Channa Jayasumana said that the Brandix staff who were brought in from India on September 22 did undergo the required 14 days quarantined “and we have the certificates issued by the PHIs to prove that.”

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa seconding Dissanayake’s motion urged the government to increase testing. He told Parliament that there were “millions of rupees worth of Testing Kits in the airport stuck there.” He urged Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi to get the kits out and increase the number of random tests in the country.

He also urged the government to quickly appoint a new Director-General of Health Services as the former incumbent has been promoted the currently there is an acting officer.

Former Minister of Health Rajitha Senaratne also urged the government to increase testing and asked that robotic testing kits be used to speed up the process.

Senaratne also pointed out that in World Health Organisation Rankings, Sri Lanka was lower in safety and government support for society with regards to the Covid pandemic.

Minister Dullas Alahapperuma praised the efforts of the government to control the pandemic and said that compared to other countries in the region we have done better. (Colombo, October 23, 2020)

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Reported by Arjuna Ranawana

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