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Noting that Sri Lanka requires around 30 million Covid-19 vaccines and that it will be difficult to bring down that number of vaccines this year, former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that there is a need to think anew and formulate a new programme for the COVID pandemic.

Emphasising that the first order of business is to seek medical advice on how the government can control a further spread of the virus, he called on the government to not sacrifice the lives of the people by focusing on the economy.

"Do not sacrifice people's lives by focusing on the economy. The Sri Lankan rupee has depreciated because the Central Bank printed money," he said.

Making a special statement today (23), the UNP Leader further stated that;

"People who have received the first dose of AstraZeneca should be given the second dose. The government must ensure that the vaccines necessary for these people are purchased. The government and other sectors are trying to bring in the required number of vaccines.

Although the government continues to administer vaccines, not all citizens will be able to receive their vaccinations this year.

Therefore, the first thing to do is to seek medical advice on how they can control a further spread of the virus. Do not sacrifice people's lives by focusing on the economy. The Sri Lankan rupee has depreciated because the Central Bank printed money.

If USD 200 million had been invested in the vaccine last November, there would not have been a vaccination shortage in the country.

The virus spread further as Indian tourists were brought to the country by a government concerned only on increasing our foreign exchange.

Today we see that the anti-COVID efforts cannot be coordinated by the existing committees. If we must close the country, close the country and give relief to the people who need relief.  

Don't sideline the cabinet

The President and the Cabinet should exercise the powers vested in them by the Constitution and make necessary plans to control the spread of the disease.

Do not sideline the cabinet. They must take the necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of the country."