ECONOMYNEXT – A group of public-spirited citizens have filed a Writ Petition before the Court of Appeal seeking better protection for the people who are either infected with Covid 19 or deemed at risk and therefore being quarantined.
The petition filed this week by Attorney Randima Tennekoon said that there have been many instances where the authorities have not protected the people who are either being isolated or being taken to be quarantined.
The petitioners are Sandun Thudugala, Sajeewa Chamikara, Herman Kumara, Chinthaka Pradeep Rajapakse and Gamage Ashila Niroshini.
They informed the court there once a close contact of an infected person is found the authorities have not given them sufficient time to gather their belongings.
Some of them had been taken for quarantine without giving “at least one-hours’ notice.”
They allege that sometimes children have been taken without proper custody or care and that these persons have been unnecessarily exposed in the media.
The petition pays much attention to the behaviour of the media which the petition says is unsatisfactory for a number of reasons.
The media, the petitioners say have “given unnecessary weight and attention on the 1st patient recently discovered from the Garment Factory. But however, she is not the 1st patient from the factory.”
They alleged that the media has given unnecessary weight and attention to her daughter so that her school and the surrounding people were unnecessarily affected by the conduct of the Society.
The media has given unnecessary attraction and weight to the relatives, victims and its family members and sometimes labelled them as the vector.
The petitioners asked the court to compel the Minister of Health to promulgate regulations that will ensure that the above issues do not arise in the future.
They also said that there should be regulations with regard to the manner that quarantined people are treated and that their surroundings are kept clean and sanitized.
The petition also notes that the Minister is yet to appoint a Director of Health Services [Eds note: the position is now called Director-General of Health Services] and asks the court to issue a writ of Mandamus to compel the Minister to fill the vacancy.
(Colombo, October 16, 2020)
Reported by Arjuna Ranawana