Ayurvedic practitioner warned against gathering crowds

By Vyshnavy Velrajh

Ayurvedic practitioner Dhammika Bandara from Kegalle has been warned by the area Medical Officer of Health (MOH) to refrain from gathering crowds to distribute his indigenous medicine which he claims is capable of curing the coronavirus.

Thousands of people had reportedly gathered around Bandara’s house today as well, disregarding quarantine regulations in order to obtain the Ayurveda syrup.

Health Services Director Dr. Asela Gunawardena told Colombo Gazette the Health Ministry may take action against Dhammika Bandara in the future for violating quarantine regulations.

Stating that this is the second time such crowds had gathered to obtain the syrup, Dr. Gunawardena said this poses a risk for a new COVID-19 cluster to emerge in the area.

The MOH of the area had informed Bandara to maintain a crowd limit and to make sure people adhere to quarantine regulations such as wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing.

Dr. Asela Gunawardena said however, it is evident that the public and Bandara have failed to adhere to the regulations.

He said Police Personnel were also deployed to handle the situation, but they are unable to control the crowd as the people are not willing to cooperate.

Pointing out that the Government cannot prevent the syrup from being distributed as it has been approved as an Ayurvedic medicine, he said the Health Ministry is of the view that such actions should not be encouraged as it poses a risk for the entire country.

Health Services Director Dr. Asela Gunawardena further said discussions will be held with the Kegalle Regional Health Services Director, MOH, and health authorities, following which the Police may be instructed to take action against Dhammika Bandara.

Meanwhile, Head of the COVID-19 Task Force Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva told Colombo Gazette that the Task Force is yet to receive a complaint on overcrowding or violation of quarantine regulations in Kegalle.

Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva said Police personnel have been deployed to the area and will take necessary action if required in this regard. (Colombo Gazette)