UNP accuses the govt. of failing to control COVID-19

2020-10-30 at 16:46

The United National Party notes with grave concern the government’s delayed response in combatting the fresh outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.

Despite repeated warnings of a pending second wave from the World Health Organisation, the government chose to propagate the idea that they had defeated the virus, without taking adequate steps to protect the citizens of the country from a resurgence.

The government failed to enact relevant legislation which would have benefited the anti-COVID efforts. The lack of proper laws has resulted in the breakdown of the prevention methods as was seen last evening (29) when the citizens of Colombo left the city in large numbers ahead of the pending lockdown.

The inability of the government to curb the movement of citizens from the Western Province has now endangered the citizens of the other Provinces in the country.

In April this year the Leader of the UNP, Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe, and TNA MP, Hon. M.A. Sumanthiran, drafted a Public Health Emergency Bill (see attachment 1) which was presented to the government. They have failed to act on this legislation, which has rendered them ineffective.

The recent breakdown of a coronavirus mass testing machine will severely impact the government’s efforts to control the spread of the virus. Currently it takes over 5 days for the government PCR tests to return the results, this delay has an impact on both the health and safety of the public as well as the economic activities of the country. The unavailability of a testing machine will only serve to further delay the results of the PCR tests being conducted in the country.

It was the responsibility of this government to have ensured adequate testing facilities were installed around the country to prevent delays. There is also a concern regarding a pending shortage of hospital beds and ventilators. The government must make all efforts to increase the capacity at the hospitals to accommodate patients from this second wave.

The UNP urges the government to give full priority to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, and uphold its duty of ensuring the health and safety of the citizens of the country.