Officials not expecting large number of deaths from virus

The Ministry of Health insisted that it is not anticipating a large number of deaths from the coronavirus and the request for body bags from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was only a routine request.

Director General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe, in a statement today, clarified the request made from the ICRC for 1000 body bags.

Dr. Jasinghe said that the request was not in anticipation of a large number of deaths as a result of the coronavirus.

He said that the successful operations carried out to control the spread of the virus in Sri Lanka will ensure so many death do not occur.

Dr. Jasinghe said, not just body bags, but stocks of all other medical equipment at the Health Ministry is maintained at a certain number and that is a normal practice.

He also said that body bags are used not just for deaths which occur from the virus but even for other deaths, as per international standards and so body bags were required for this purpose.

The Ministry of Health had last week sought 1000 body bags from the International Committee of the Red Cross to dispose bodies during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

A letter signed by Additional Secretary (Medical Services) at the Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medical Services Dr. Sunil De Alwis seeking 1000 body bags from the ICRC was leaked on social media yesterday and spread speculation. (Colombo Gazette)

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