Draft circular for PHIs to control COVID-19 found contrary to law

Attorney General (AG) Dappula de Livera today informed the Secretary to the Ministry of Health that draft circular instructions to Public Health Inspectors (PHI) to control COVID-19 during the upcoming General Elections are contrary to law.

The AG pointed out that it was contrary to law as powers of PHIs to directly enter premises of meetings, polling stations, and detain and prosecute have been removed and are subject to the directions of the Ministry of Health.

Public Health Inspectors (PHI) launched a one-day token strike yesterday over the failure by the authorities to address their concerns.

They further called for legal protection under the Gazette issued on the health guidelines for the General Elections.

The PHIs have already withdrawn from coronavirus related activities.

Public Health Inspectors were outraged over a recent statement made by Minister of Health Pavithra Wanniarachchi concerning PHI officers.

Minister Wanniarachchi had recently told media that PHI officers engaged in COVID-19 duties were causing inconvenience by revealing details of the latest detection of coronavirus patients to the media.

The PHI Union said that as their activities are a hindrance to the Health Ministry and due to PHI officers being accused of engaging in their official duties, they had decided to refrain from COVID-19 duties. (Colombo Gazette)