The proposal is in a 21 point plan to be presented to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to address the coronavirus situation in Sri Lanka.
The UNP Working Committee unanimously adopted the 21 point plan which will be distributed to all UNP Local Government members and Party organisers for them to discuss with the public.
Copies of the plan will be sent to the President and other relevant Government members as well as the Speaker of Parliament and leaders of other political parties.
The plan proposes constructing temporary field hospitals with the assistance of the army and construction companies which will include the provision of new beds for patients.
The plan also proposes that the Government immediately seek international assistance in obtaining more ventilators and oxygen supplies for the patients and the supplies must be airlifted.
Other proposals by the UNP include obtaining the services of retired medical professionals and private practitioners to assist the health services in the country, procurement of vaccines to be increased, the procurement process for COVID-19 related matters be suspended, and an emergency procurement process be put in place.
The UNP says the vaccine program must be expanded to include children aged 12 upwards, with the approval of their parents. The vaccine program must be accelerated and a realistic timeframe for the vaccine program must be established by the medical authorities.
The UNP also says PCR testing of the public must be increased, all members of the health service must undergo regular PCR testing and be provided with Personal Protective Equipment and proper statistics must be maintained of those infected by COVID-19 and the deaths.
In the 21 point plan the UNP also notes that there is no provision in the law for anti COVID19 task forces and that the powers are vested in the Cabinet of Ministers, the Disaster Management Council and the Director General of the Health Services.
The UNP says the Task-Force must be immediately abolished, and the Cabinet must assume
“The Disaster Management Council comprising of relevant Ministers, Opposition Leader and officials must be convened. The Cabinet shall operate through them A special advisory group of experts comprising of individuals recommended by the World Health Organisation must be setup to assist the Cabinet. The Parliamentary Consultative Group on Health must meet on a weekly basis to provide an update to the Members of Parliament on the situation in the country regarding COVID-19. The lead role in all COVID-19 related matters must be taken by the medical authorities, with the military and other necessary institutions providing support. All anti COVID-19 efforts must be under the direct control and supervision of the health experts in accordance with the Health Services Act,” the UNP said.
The UNP also says the Opposition drafted “Public Health Emergency bill” must be immediately enacted by Parliament and the Government’s “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (Temporary Provisions)” which provides partial relief must also be enacted. (Colombo Gazette)