Apr 02, 2020

Govt briefs UNP on Coronavirus situation

A discussion between Government representatives and those from the United National Party (UNP) concerning the present situation in the country due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) took place under patronage of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa today (1) at the Presidential Secretariat.

The President's Media Division (PMD) stated that the President briefed the UNP representatives at length on the measures the Government has taken thus far to prevent further spread of the virus within the country. He pointed out that the vast majority of persons so far found to have been infected had been found from quarantine centres or are those who had closely associated with infected patients. This had enabled the Government to significantly control the outbreak, he added.

President's Special Representative Basil Rajapaksa gave a briefing on the mechanism implemented by the Committee on Essential Services chaired by him to ensure the running of essential services and the delivery of food and medicines. He said the Government has implemented a programme to provide Rs 5000 each to 5.3 million out of 6.5 million identified families before April 9.

Both sides agreed that obstruction to public life should be kept at a minimum when carrying out efforts to eradicate the virus. It was also agreed that the programme should be impartial. The two sides focused on how to keep the country's economy going without collapse along with difficulties faced by Government employees, businessmen and those in the plantation sector as well as daily wage earners and the self-employed. The parties discussed how these issues could be resolved.

Both sides praised the dedication shown by doctors, nurses and those of the entire health sector as well as tri-forces, police and other security forces personnel. The UNP group which took part in the discussion agreed to brief its party representatives at district level.

The discussion was attended by Dinesh Gunawardena, Nimal Siripala De Silva, Wimal Weerawansa, Bandula Gunawardena, Johnston Fernando and Dullas Alahapperuma from the Government side while the UNP was represented by Assistant Leader Ravi Karunanayake, Arjuna Ranatunge, Ruwan Wijewardena, Daya Gamage, Palitha Range Bandara, Navin Dissanayake and Lakshman Wijemanna. President's Secretary Dr P.B. Jayasundara, Treasury Secretary S.R. Attygalle and Central Bank Governor Prof. W.D. Lakshman were also in attendence.

Pix courtesy PMD

(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by sundaytimes.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)