The JVP says the main reason for the health risk faced by the public at present is arbitrary decisions reached by authorities pertaining to vaccinations.
Speaking during a media briefing to point out several concerns regarding COVID-19 to the government, former JVP Parliamentarian Nalinda Jayathissa said the government reached arbitrary decisions to change priority groups for vaccinations without a scientific basis, and the public is suffering the consequences today.
He noted the Sinopharm vaccine was approved by the World Health Organization on the 7th of May, and the government was able to administer the jab from the 8th.
The former MP said if the government commenced vaccinations for persons over 60 years of age, and completed it within the month of June, it would’ve prevented several deaths in August.
He stated of the 4,550 COVID-related deaths reported in August, nearly 3,000 were persons over 60 years and who hadn’t received a single COVID-19 vaccine dose.
Jayathissa said therefore there is a serious mistake in decisions pertaining to priority groups during the vaccination drive.
He charged that the lives of thousands of elders were lost due to incorrect decisions reached by the government.
Jayathissa further said a controversy has arisen regarding prices of PCR and rapid antigen tests and the former Media Spokesman of the Ministry of Health regarding COVID-19, Dr. Jayaruwan Bandara had recently made a serious statement regarding the matter.
He added at present the public is spending large sums for PCR and rapid antigen tests, and questioned the response of the Presidential Task Force regarding the allegations.
Jayathissa also questioned why the number of PCR and rapid antigen tests are not increased.
He further said several senior officials who helped successfully contain the virus were removed after each COVID-19 wave, and questioned who reached the decision to remove them.
He also questioned officials responsible for reaching the short-sighted decision to bring down tourists including visitors from India, at a time warnings have been issued regarding a coronavirus variant in South Africa.