23rd April 2021 21:32:40 Hours
General Shavendra Silva, Head of the National Operations Centre for Prevention of COVID - 19 Outbreak (NOCPCO), Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army attending a special Media Conference at the Government’s Information Department on the status quo regarding sharp increase of COVID-19 victims, appealed the public to remain confined to their homes as much as possible and take all preventive measures against the transmission of the virus during the forthcoming long-weekend.
“Although no island-wide lockdown as such has been decided upon after sudden rise in the number of cases detected largely due to the irresponsible behaviour of some sections of the public during the most recent New Year season, steps would be taken to impose lockdowns only depending on the sharp increase of cases in specific areas as has been done in Kuliyapitiya and Kurunegala areas by now”, he urged.
“You need to restrict your unnecessary movements from one place to the other and avoid large concentrations wherever possible considering the situation as a national duty. The public are therefore urged to cooperate with all stakeholders, engaged in the prevention work and control work at a time like this, considering what is happening around us including in our neighbour, India. Similarly, we must remember that we effectively controlled the spread at the first stage and maintained the figures of daily infections in the range of 100 - 150, prior to the dawn of the New Year. However, we saw how carelessly people were thronging shops to buy clothes and essentials for the New Year, in some cases even without properly-covered masks. On HE the President’s guidelines, all our stakeholders were doing a praiseworthy job throughout and we need all of you to understand the nature of this challenge since the virus is changing variants. The results of your own behaviour during the New Year season could be seen in a couple of days and this should not be repeated in the coming holidays”, General Shavendra Silva said.
Professor Neelika Malavige, Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences at Jayewardenepura University, Mr Lalith Weerathunga, President’s Principal Adviser, Dr Asela Gunawardena, Director General of Health Services, Dr Prasanna Gunasena, Director, Medical Supplies and Medical Specialist, together with Minister of Health, Hon Pavithra Wanniarachchi and Minister of Mass Media, Hon Keheliya Rambukwella contributed to the special Media discussion. Mr Mohan Samaranayake, Director General Information was also present at the head table.
Here follows the full video footages of the statement;