Opposition urges government to get the vaccines for Covid to Sri Lanka
ECONOMYNEXT- Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa is urging the government to take steps to obtain newly developed COVID-19 vaccines invented by organisations such as Pfizer and Moderna for Sri Lankans.
Speaking in Parliament during the Budget Debate, he said the budget appears to have ignored the COVID-19 pandemic and added that the budget should have given more prominence to the measures needed to control and prevent the spread of the virus.
“Why haven’t they given such a priority? The current government does not have any interest or need to address the COVID problem as they were able to get the things they want done,” he said.
Premadasa said that many countries in the world are in competition to invent vaccines for COVID-19, “Pfizer and Biontech together invented vaccine with a 95% success rate, Moderna has invented another vaccine with a 95% success rate,” he added.
“Has the current government even mere talked to them about getting the vaccines needed to our country by contacting those organisations?”
He said that countries in the European Union, UK and USA have already ordered those vaccines for their use.
And added that we are last in the line to get vaccines as the government has not efficiently taken steps to get those vaccines.
Government MPs countered Premadasa with Vasudeva Nanayakkara saying “if we need the vaccine, we will get it, at the moment we don’t need the vaccine.” He said the vaccine is needed for countries like the United States.
Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa said that in many cases the vaccines are in the experimental and testing stage. “Is the Leader of the Opposition saying that we in Sri Lankans should become Guinea Pigs for companies to experiment on us,” he asked.
Premadasa said that everything the opposition has been saying since January and February had become true today while the government was only capable of purchasing troll farms and making comments on social media making a mockery out those things.
The Opposition Leader said that if the government has lack of funds to purchase those vaccines then they should contact the Canadian government which has already ordered those vaccines and has a surplus in their country, trying to enter into a diplomatic agreement with Canada to get the surplus to us.
He also said that it is the responsibility of the government to get the COVID vaccines required to the country and distribute among the people free of charge.
Moreover, he said that a Corona racketeering lumpen aristocratic elite has been created who are going to be dollar crows gaining from equipment and test kits.
“The migrant workers who took flights to Sri Lanka to elect the current government have become victims today, as they are forced to pay big sums for the air ticket, quarantine and hotels. We should immediately stop racketeers who gain over dead bodies,” Premadasa said. (Colombo/Nov20/2020)
Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe