May 12, 2020 (LBO) – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has stressed the importance of perseverance without faltering in the battle against COVID-19 while maintaining public life and economy alive at the same time.
The President noting that the entire country has commenced economic activities emphasized that no room should be left for a famine to follow the pandemic. The President stated that the two previous oversights should be taken as a lesson when planning and implementing future strategies and see to that the same mistakes are not repeated.
President Rajapaksa during a discussion with the Presidential Task Force to Combat COVID-19 held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (May 11), highlighted the necessity to identify and investigate the sudden spike of Coronavirus cases within the Navy and Keselwatta area.
The President stressed the significance of randomly inspecting highly populated areas as well as buses, three-wheelers, construction sites and the Manning market.
In order to prevent further spreading of the virus, the need to enlighten people living in congested areas was also discussed. The Ministry of Health has issued guidelines to the Ministry of Education with regard to managing students during school times which should be the basis for reopening schools and other educational institutes. President added that the media should be extensively utilised to educate students prior to reopening schools.
A total of 3297 foreign students and temporary visa holders have been brought back to the country and had been confined to quarantine. The President went on to note that the arrival of foreigners should be regulated in order to avoid endangering the country.
The use of illicit liquor has resulted in a number of health issues and caused disruptions in rural life to a large extent. The security forces officials stated it has being reported that illicit liquor has been sold at an exorbitant prices. The potential risks which could arise from this issue were discussed in length with the officials related to the health sector.
Continuous confinement of city dwellers to their homes for a long time has resulted in mental stress and other health issues. Hence, the importance of implementing programs recommended by health authorities was also discussed. It was stressed that in order to maintain individual fitness, walking paths and other facilities for physical exercises should also recommence as early as possible.
The President highlighted the significance of storing biometric data under one system and expediting the issuance of passports and identity cards at the district level.
President Rajapaksa advised the Presidential Task Force to re-examine the technical and management methods to preserve agro-harvest and utilize them accordingly.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Minister of Health Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Governor of the Western Province Marshal of the Air Force Roshan Goonetileke, Secretary to the President, P.B. Jayasundera, Principal Advisor to the President, Lalith Weeratunga and Secretary to the Ministry of Health Major General Sanjeewa Munasinghe were also present at the discussion.