May 10, 2020

Reducing social distancing will lead to crisis - Ranil

Leader of the United National Party Ranil Wickremesinghe says the prevailing coronavirus concerns affect people’s lives and therefore the government cannot be allowed to consider the concerns lightly.

Issuing a statement on social media Wickremesinghe said reducing social distancing measures while failing to increase the number of PCR tests carried out daily to identify COVID-19 patients will lead to a grave crisis.

He also reiterated that 3,000 PCR tests must be conducted daily.

The former Prime Minister added social distancing regulations must only be eased based on advice issued by health authorities.

The UNP Leader further said failure to strengthen existing procedures to ensure the safety of groups engaged in efforts to control the spread of coronavirus and treat COVID-19 patients, may lead to a crisis within the relevant sectors as well.

Wickremesinghe therefore called for safety measures for those in the health sector, security forces and other essential services to be strengthened.

Wickremesinghe also said it is the government’s responsibility to reveal to the public when Sri Lanka will be able to conduct 3,000 PCR tests daily, the duration of the tests, and whether necessary test kits are available and if orders have been placed.

While stating that other countries have ordered thousands of face masks and testing kits, Wickremesinghe said the Health Minister must also reveal the measures taken by the government in this regard.

He stressed there was no financial constraints as the World Bank has allocated funds for Sri Lanka for efforts to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

He also claimed that communication activities pertaining to informing the public regarding the coronavirus crisis are not being carried out in an appropriate manner, and urged the government to follow a common and simple communication method to be introduced.

Wickremesinghe stated the UNP will continue to provide support to the government in efforts to contain COVID-19 while stating the party is not seeking to gain political mileage amidst the prevailing crisis.


(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by has not been edited by SLM staff)