20th April 2021 23:45:43 Hours
A special meeting of major political party representatives, chaired by General Shavendra Silva, Head of the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID -19 Outbreak (NOCPCO), Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army got underway at the NOCPCO this afternoon (20) in order to seek a consensus over forthcoming May Day preparations.
Head, NOCPCO explained the series of developments as regards COVID-19 transmission in Sri Lanka in the past year quoting statistics, pertaining to numbers of deaths, infections, recoveries, quarantine procedures, etc. He also told the meeting about the expected outcome of the behavioural patterns of the masses during the most recent New Year season probably during the first two weeks of May as well as emerging trends at global level with special focus on neighbouring countries.
The meeting educated the attendees on fast changing variants of the virus, nature of its transmission in other countries, emergence of new clusters and risks involved, etc, and also the latest tendency it has had in infecting the majority of youngsters in society, a complete deviation from the previous variants that began from March 2020.
Director General of Health Services, Dr Asela Gunawardena, Medical experts and specialists also briefed on the status quo and pointed out the risks, involved in mass gatherings.
Representatives of those political parties and trade unions after listening to the Head NOCPCO and medical specialists’ explanations voiced their agreement and unanimously decided to dispense with their proposed and planned May Day arrangements in the best interests of the country and its people.
Representative political and trade union officials who took part in this special NOCPCO meeting included Hon Gamini Lokuge (MP) and Minister of Transport, Hon S.M Marikkar (MP), Hon Mohomad Muzammil (MP) and several other officials of political parties.
Dr Ananda Wijewickrama, Consultant Physician National Institute of Infectious Diseases IDH, Dr Sudath Samaraweera, Chief Epidemiologist, Professor Manoj Weerasinghe, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Dr Rohitha Muthugala, Consultant Epidemiologist - Ministry of Health, Dr Nadeeka Janage, Consultant Epidemiologist - Ministry of Health, Professor Athula Sumathipala, Faculty of Health Sciences, Mr M.G Upul Rohana, President Public Health Inspectors’ Association and a few health experts were associated with the special meeting.
Afterwards, the routine NOCPCO meeting with medical experts got underway as scheduled, headed by both DGGS and Head NOCPCO. Medical experts drew special attention on the behavioural patterns of the general public during the most recent New Year season and risks, involved in unnecessary concentrations and public gatherings.