Keheliya tells health official to reveal names of influential persons

Media Minister and Cabinet co-spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella today urged Deputy Director General of Health Services Dr. Hemantha Herath to reveal the names of influential persons said to be interfering in the vaccination process.

Dr. Hemantha Herath was today quoted as saying that the main reason for irregularities in the vaccination drive is influential requests made by various parties.

Asked about this at the post Cabinet press conference today, Rambukwella said that he was not aware of any influence or pressure being exerted on the vaccination process.

He said that if there is such pressure then the Deputy Director General of Health Services must make public the names of those exerting such pressure.

“There were also several incidents where some parties demanded health officials to show influence in obtaining the vaccines. This has driven the health officials unable to perform their duties as per the priority list,” Dr. Hemantha Herath had been quoted in the media today as saying.

A journalist pointed out that not only Dr. Herath, but the President of the Public Health Inspectors Association Upul Rohana had too made a similar claim recently.

Responding to the journalist’s question, Rambukwella said that he was aware of such rumours on social media, but was unaware of any particular incident of political influence used to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Stating that he had received the vaccine as he was part of the vulnerable group identified in Parliament, he said his family members are yet to receive the vaccine and will follow the proper procedure.

Keheliya Rambukwella said that the Deputy Director General of Health Services is vested with powers at present, and as such he should reveal the names of those using political influence to gain advantage of the vaccination process.

He further said if the names of such people are revealed than the Government will take necessary action against them. (Colombo Gazette)