The Political Authority has also taken steps to remove Dr. Lakkumar Fernando, a renowned pediatrician who was a director of the National Drug Regulatory Authority. The Minister in charge of the subject Pavithra Wanniarachchi has sent a letter to Dr. Fernando on the 1st stating that his services are no longer required by the National Drug Regulatory Authority.
Seven of the 13 directors of the National Drug Authority have been fired or fired over the issue of non – approval of the Chinese – made Sinopharm Covid vaccine due to a lack of scientific data.
Meanwhile, Dr. Palitha Abeykoon, who is the Regional Special Representative of the Director-General of the World Health Organization, and Prof. Asitha de Silva, who served as the Chairman of the National Drug Regulatory Authority. After their removal, Dr. Sisira Siribaddana, who is a political ally of the government, was appointed as the Acting Chairman and new directors were appointed to approve the vaccine, but Dr. Lakkumar Fernando, who was still a member of the board at the time, had insisted that Sinopharm should not be approved.
It has been strongly suggested that the vaccine should not be approved on the basis that quantitative scientific data have not been provided. Apart from him, the other doctor who has objected to this is Dr. Ananda Wijewickrama. Both of these doctors have a reputation in the local medical community as two doctors with exceptional skills in the management of viral infections.
Dr. Lakkumar Fernando has served as a Board of Director of the National Drug Regulatory Authority as the Representative of the College of Pediatric consultants.
He was one of the leading voices against the importation of the Triple Vaccine in 1997. Dr. Lakkumar, who is currently working at the Negombo Hospital, is also considered to have extensive experience in dengue management.