Although President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday (22) instructed medical professionals not to intimidate the public before meeting him and advice on the matters, it is learnt that those Medical experts have decided to express their views to a medic after refusals by the President. According to a spokesman for those Medical associations. Although the Sri Lanka Medical Association had twice proposed to the President to lockdown or impose strict travel restrictions in the country, the President had not agreed to it and he had not given even a time for a discussion with all the specialists’ associations.
The spokesman further said that the President of the Sri Lanka Medical Association, Dr Padma Gunaratne and other specialists had met the President and requested him to impose strict travel restrictions to control the future increase in the number of patients. The President has asked them to propose other options without proposing a lockdown as the lockdown could affect the lives and economy of the people of the country.
Meanwhile, on May 10, the Association of Medical specialists writing to the President have proposed that at least district-level travel restrictions be imposed on the current outbreak of the Covid 19 and that the relevant specialists are eager to get valuable time from the president to express their views to the President. Although a letter of request has been sent to the President, the Association of Medical Specialists has not been given the opportunity.
President of the Sri Lanka Medical Association has met the president again on May 19 following the recent publication of a report of Sri Lanka’s Covid situation prepared by globally acclaimed Virologist of Hong Kong University Professor Malik Pieris and Prof Kamini Mendis. They too had emphasized the country should be locked down for 14 days as the best strategy to prevent a catastrophe. Although the President has not responded favourably to that request the spokesman said. Meanwhile, State Minister Dr Sudarshani Fernandopulle, a community physician, has also submitted the same proposal to the President.
The spokesman further stated that the Sri Lanka Medical Association, the Government Medical Officers’ Association, the Sri Lanka Association of Specialist Physicians and the Medical Associations have jointly participated in a media briefing yesterday (22) where it was useless for the President to make this proposal. Accordingly, they say that the statement made by the President yesterday is not true and that this fact is being revealed to prevent a misunderstanding from going to the people.