Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)

SL not reached 4th stage of COVID-19

This is what I have said in my ear­lier state­ments as well

- BY YOHAN PER­ERA AND AJITH SIRIWARDAN­A Infectious Diseases · Health Conditions · Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has not reached a fourth stage of COVID-19 pan­demic as there is no sit­u­a­tion where the spread of the dis­ease be­comes un­con­trol­lable with large num­bers of cases be­ing re­ported ev­ery­where in the coun­try within a short pe­riod of time, Health Min­is­ter Pavithra Wan­niarachchi told Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day.

Min­is­ter Wan­niarachchi came out with this ex­pla­na­tion in re­sponse to a query made by Chief Op­po­si­tion Whip Lak­sh­man Kiriella who re­called an ear­lier state­ment made by her last month.

“There are four stages of the pan­demic which is proven sci­en­tif­i­cally. The first stage is when no cases are re­ported from any­where. The sec­ond stage is when a hand­ful of cases are re­ported from one or two places within a longer pe­riod. The third stage is the clus­ters such as Kan­dakadu and the Welis­ara Navy camp. The fourth stage is when the spread of the dis­ease be­comes un­com­fort­able and cases are re­ported from ev­ery cor­ner. Sri Lanka is yet to reach that stage. This is what I have said in my ear­lier state­ments as well,” the Min­is­ter said.

Re­fer­ring to an ear­lier state­ment made by her and which Mr. Kiriella re­ferred to , the min­is­ter said she never said the pan­demic in Sri Lanka was over. “I only said that the spread of the dis­ease is con­trolled in the so­ci­ety. How­ever I also said that gov­ern­ment will have to limit repa­tri­a­tion of Sri Lankans liv­ing overseas as it could lead to a ma­jor out­break of the dis­ease if there is one loop hole. The MP should re­fer to the full state­ment I made.”

Mr. Kiriella charged that peo­ple were mis­led by the min­is­ter who said on Septem­ber 3, 2020 that Sri Lanka is the only coun­try which has been able to pre­vent a com­mu­nity spread of the dis­ease. “Peo­ple be­gan to take things eas­ily and stopped all pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sures fol­low­ing the as­sur­ance given by the Min­is­ter,” Mr. Kiriella said.

“The Min­is­ter also made a sim­i­lar state­ment in April this year as well say­ing there is no com­mu­nity spread. How did she come to such a con­clu­sion at that time? “the MP asked. The Min­is­ter who hit back said even the Leader of Op­po­si­tion was en­gaged in elec­tion cam­paign af­ter the lock down pe­riod even with­out a mask.

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