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‘Proper facilities are not provided’ - Vavuniya makeshift hospital struggles with COVID-19 amidst bad weather

A COVID-19 treatment centre that was set up by the Sri Lankan army at Vavuniya Economic Center, is facing severe difficulties in coping with patient demands due to extreme weather over the last couple of weeks. 

Tamil patients demanded that alternative arrangements be made for the benefit of the sick people. Elderly patients are reportedly facing many difficulties as the 200 bed makeshift hospital is lacking proper facilities.

Earlier this week, strong winds damaged houses and wreaked multiple parts of the Tamil homeland concurrently Sri Lanka’s highly militarised COVID-19 task force, continues to mismanage the pandemic. Families in the Vavuniya district are also facing the issue of being pushed to the brink of starvation due to the imposed travel ban that restricts movement of locals. Many residents of local villages have stated they have no access to electricity, drinking water or sanitation facilities. 

In early May, Public Health Inspectors (PHS) reported that Sri Lanka has a higher infection rate per capita compared to India. Civil society groups have expressed concern that COVID-19 regulations have merely been an excuse to deploy more military personnel in Tamil areas rather than protecting the community.

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