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Sri Lanka President angry at “irresponsible citizens” in fight against COVID19

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa vented his frustrations Tuesday morning at irresponsible behaviour by Sri Lankans in the face of the COVID19 threat, videos released by the Presidential Secretariat showed.

 Addressing the Presidential Task Force assembled to deal with the coronavirus threat the President appeared visibly angry at several events.

“I asked them not to play the Royal-Thomian Big match,” the President said. “But they said the Royal-Thomian must be played and they went ahead.”

Health officials later revealed that one of the patients who had tested positive for COVID19 yesterday had been at the match and had had at least 40 contacts during the event.

Police and health officials were now trying to trace these contacts, Police spokesman Superintendent Jaliya Senaratne said.

The President also said that some of the people who had been detected had not been truthful and responsible towards officials.

He recalled the case of the spouse of a Sri Lankan diplomat who been in Germany and tested positive for the virus.

“I asked the officers to immediately find his partner. But we found that the partner had switched his phone off and was unreachable.”

“This was very irresponsible of him. He had also visited three different hospitals. I want that person prosecuted for being so irresponsible,” the President said.

Another returnee who had been found at Kuliyapitiya, and had agreed to self-quarantine with his immediate family, had failed to inform officials that he had visited his father in Galle after he came back to Sri Lanka.





“The father is sick now. Why couldn’t he have told us about visiting the father?”

The President was also upset that large crowds continue to throng at Sripada Adam’s Peak.

“What’s the use of us closing everything else down?” he asked.

The President was discussing issues around the COVID19 threat with the Task Force which is headed by Army commander Lt Gen Shavendra Silva and includes Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi and the Director-General Health Services Dr Anil Jasinghe.

The Task Force is now installed in a new office in Rajagiriya.

-Arjuna Ranawana

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