Former Prime Minister and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe says that Sri Lanka is at a critical juncture at this moment and warned of dire consequences if the correct decisions aren't made according to the advice of the medical and health authorities.
Pointing out that the committees under the COVID administration have failed, the former Premier said that if there is any sympathy or empathy for the people of the country, the Cabinet should take this responsibility as there are people out there with the necessary experience tackle this issue.
Wickremesinghe made these observations making a special statement from his residence in Colombo today (10) on the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the country. The UNP has decided that all party members would observe a self-imposed lockdown in high risk regions.
Commenting further, he said that:
“Today we are facing a severe spread of the COVID-19 virus. The country's healthcare system is collapsing. The disaster is now spreading across Sri Lanka. There is a shortage of vaccines. There is a lack of oxygen. There is a shortage of ventilators. There is a shortage of beds in hospitals. Hospitals are full. Day by day the COVID-19 virus is spreading. Now we are at a critical juncture. If we do not make decisions now according to the advice of the medical and health authorities, we will face further trouble.
According to the latest report released by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, Sri Lanka can reach the peak of the rapid growth of patients. More than a hundred deaths a day can occur by June or July. Therefore, at this crucial juncture, we must all work together.
This is not a fight to save the name of the government. Also, this is not a political battle. This is instead a battle to save the lives of the people. We are not asking for a change of Government.
According to the Constitution of this country, the responsibility of the health and safety of the public lies with the Cabinet.
The President and the Cabinet Ministers should take full responsibility to protect our people from this pandemic.
The committees under the COVID administration have failed. None of what was recommended has been implemented despite the seriousness of the situation being made clear. People have lost faith.
We ask that the Cabinet be given these powers to make decisions. The President and the Cabinet should immediately assume these responsibilities. Talk to the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament this week. Get their support and feedback. They too need that support. They must act quickly.
Many lives could be lost if the advice is not acted upon now. If there is any sympathy or empathy for the people of the country, the Cabinet should take this responsibility. There are people out there with the necessary experience.
I make a special request to act accordingly,” he said.