The World Health Organisation (WHO) representative in praised Sri Lanka’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and swift resumption of routine vaccinations, even as fears rose as clusters of coronavirus cases continued to be reported across the island.
Sri Lanka’s coronavirus task force has been led by army commander and credibly accused war criminal Shavendra Silva, as the military has taken the lead on the country’s public health strategy. Their response has come under widespread criticism, as thousands were detained in coronavirus quarantine centres, which were largely set up in the North-East, and thousands more arrested for curfew violations.
“Preventing and controlling the spread of COVID-19 is a top priority in Sri Lanka,” said WHO Representative, Dr Razia Narayan Pendse.
“However, it is important to ensure control measures are balanced with efforts to safeguard livelihoods and ensure well-being. Maintaining essential services, including routine healthcare procedures like immunization, is a crucial component of the government’s strategic preparedness and response plan.”
The comments came as Sri Lankan shares fell more than 2% last week, as several clusters of coronavirus infections were reported. The government also announced that school closures would be extended by a week, amidst more scares of cases spreading.
“The resilience of Sri Lanka’s healthcare system has been tested several times in the past few decades, and it has proven to be strong, flexible, and resilient. This is largely due to both grassroots efforts and strategic planning. Very early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government conducted an evaluation, taking stock of existing resources and identifying gaps,” claimed Sri Lanka’s Director General of Health Services Dr Anil Jasinghe,
More than 2,700 coronavirus cases have been reported with 11 deaths, so far.