Former Prime Minister and Leader of the United National Party Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday, making a special statement on the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the country, urged the President and the Cabinet of ministers to take control of the worsening situation in the country.
Pointing out that the committees appointed to control the pandemic have failed, the former Premier called on the President and the Cabinet to take full powers to protect the people from this pandemic.
Following is the statement made by the UNP leader:
Today we are facing a severe situation in the COVID-19 disease. People’s healthcare is collapsing. The COVID-19 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 this COVID disease is spreading. Now we are at a critical juncture. If we do not make decisions now according to our medical advice and health advice, we will be in trouble.
According to the latest report released by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, our country can reach a peak in the rapid increase in number of patients. Also, 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. In fact, this is a fight 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 country lies with the Cabinet.
The President and the Cabinet ministers should take full powers to protect our people from this epidemic. The committees under the COVID administration have failed.
Although the seriousness of this situation has been said before, none has been implemented since then. People have lost faith.
We ask to give these powers to the Cabinet. The President and the Cabinet should immediately assume these powers. Talk to the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament this week. Get their support and feedback. They too need to provide that support. Act quickly.
Many lives could be lost if not acted upon now. If there is sympathy for the people of the country, the Cabinet should take this responsibility. There are people out there with experience. I make a special request to act accordingly.