Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has told the United Nations (UN), Sri Lanka has made remarkable progress in controlling the spread of COVID-19.
He said that Sri Lanka recorded a very low death rate and a high recovery rate through case detection, contact tracing, quarantining and patient treatment.
“Sri Lanka’s robust public healthcare system provided free access to health and helped control the pandemic. The Government also repatriated nearly 100,000 Sri Lankans and started our vaccination program in February,” he said.
The Prime Minister expressed these views via a video message today while addressing the opening segment of the 77th Session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).
“Even during the pandemic, economic activities continued in several sectors. The export sector continued to function, and tourism restarted in January. The Central Bank reduced policy rates and implemented several concessionary refinancing programs,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the Government is deeply committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
“For this purpose, an Inter-ministerial Steering Committee on Sustainable Development has been formed under my leadership. Our youth are also an important component of our development agenda. That is why decade 2021 to 2030 has been declared the Decade of Skills Development in our country,” he said.
The Prime Minister also said that Sri Lanka is keen on strengthening its regional ties and emphasize the need to accelerate the “South-South” cooperation.
“Towards that end, we believe UNESCAP should commit itself to being relevant and responsive with measures such as assisting small countries with pandemic recovery and vaccination programs, encouraging growth of foreign employment opportunities, promoting Eco-tourism and Health-tourism and encouraging investments into and find markets for emerging nations,” he said.
He also appreciated the timely efforts taken by UNESCAP to bring the Member States together for a constructive and interactive regional discussion on the COVID-19 pandemic. (Colombo Gazette)