People should follow Govt guidelines strictly – Minister Ranatunga | Sunday Observer

People should follow Govt guidelines strictly – Minister Ranatunga

 Minister of Industrial Export, Investment Promotion and Civil Aviation Prasanna Ranatunga yesterday requested the people to strictly follow the guidelines issued by the Government and the health authorities to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic as it is a serious threat faced by the entire population in the country irrespective of caste, creed and other petty political differences.

As the Government, we would like to stress that the protection of lives of the people would entirely depend on their conduct. At present, Sri Lanka and other countries across the globe are taking unprecedented measures to reduce the people to people contact in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus. Therefore, if the people resort to irresponsible conduct without adhering to the guidelines issued, we would all have to face serious repercussions, the Minister told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

He said the Health Ministry and the GMOA have stressed the need to continue the curfew for at least another two weeks. I think the Government would comply with these guidelines. Similarly, the Government has already set up committees at district, divisional secretariat and village levels to provide drugs and essential commodities to the people.

Minister Ranatunga said the program launched to provide financial assistance to low income families and Samurdhi beneficiary families has almost been completed. In addition, there are many people who are dependent on daily wages such as three wheel drivers, bus drivers and tour guides. Therefore, a program has been launched to provide some financial assistance to them as well.

The Special Presidential Task Force on Essential Services headed by Basil Rajapaksa has implemented a  successful program to cater to the daily needs of the people countrywide. Some issues have cropped up in certain areas as the relevant officials in charge do not fulfil their duties properly. However, if we properly implement this program, we would be able to successfully face the next two to three weeks with minimum shortcomings, he said.

The Minister said since the inception, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa briefed the Cabinet of Ministers on the situation that would have to be faced in the future due to the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, decisions were taken to act accordingly. Although certain sections with their ulterior political motives criticized the ongoing program, today we have been able to maintain the country’s situation at this  level due to the timely decision. That is why the WHO and even Sri Lankans in  foreign countries have commended the moves taken by the Government, the health authorities, Tri-forces and the Police to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.