May 05, 2021

SJB MP raises questions about COVID Fund

SJP MP S.M. Marikkar said yesterday that neither Parliament nor the public have been informed of how the money from the COVID-19 Fund has been utilised.

“More than Rs. 1,000 million was collected to the COVID-19 fund from what we have seen in the media but neither Parliament nor the public have been informed of how the funds were utilised. Was the money used to buy vaccines or medicines or set up hospitals for COVID-19 patients?” the SJB MP queried during an adjournment debate on the COVID-19 situation in the country.

Marikkar said from the onset of the pandemic, the Government was driven by political expediency and did not take a prudent approach to tackle the pandemic situation and hence the country is facing a dire situation now.

“There aren’t sufficient stocks of the AstraZeneca vaccine to give those who got the first dose. Now attempts are underway to give another vaccine as the second dose and this could endanger lives,” he said.

Marikkar said that Israel, a country the size of Sri Lanka, has carried out a mass vaccination program and overcome the pandemic. “We have failed to adopt a similar approach by getting the necessary vaccination. All this shows that Sri Lanka has failed in this too,” he said.

“Today they Government is cash rapped and has no money. The Government is trying to stop fertiliser imports as it does not have money, not because of the interest in promoting organic farming. This is a good concept but not one that cannot be done overnight,” he added.

He urged the Government to listen to medical professionals and take decisions without taking political interests first.