The Church of Ceylon said that it is common knowledge that hospitals are now overcrowded and health services are stretched beyond limits owing to the high number of Covid patients.
“We offer to the health authorities the facilities of our church across the country to be used as make-shift hospitals, intermediate medical centers or quarantine centers which can be managed by health officials and supported by our institutions and personnel so that hospitals are reserved for those who really need them,” the Church of Ceylon said.
In a statement signed by the Right Reverend Keerthisiri Fernando, the Bishop of Kurunagala and the Presiding Bishop of the Church of Ceylon and the Right Reverend Dushantha Rodrigo, the Bishop of Colombo, the Anglican Church noted with grave concern the present situation regarding the spread of Covid-19 in Sri Lanka.
“We are disturbed by the rising number of deaths per day and the alarming increase in the number of new cases reported. It is imperative that we all take serious note of the current situation and act with responsibility since this country cannot afford to lose our valuable human resources and drain our limited financial resources. The management and control of this virus is now the responsibility of all sections of society,” the Church of Ceylon said.
The Church of Ceylon appealed to all Sri Lankans to unite in our fight against this virus by taking all health guidelines seriously and adhering to the laid down protocol strictly through self-discipline and responsible conduct, refraining from engaging in non-essential transactions and limiting movements even when there is no lockdown in the country and getting vaccinated without having reservations unless due to medical reasons.
All Sri Lankans have also been urged to help each other by offering social and psychological support to neighbors and those in communities who may be recovering in their homes and also comforting those who may have lost loved ones.
“This is not the time to stigmatize the afflicted but the time to assist those who need our help,” the Church of Ceylon said.
The Church also commended the State for conducting the vaccination program in an accelerated manner to cover all parts of the country.
“We now urge the authorities to take necessary steps to secure a vaccination that can be safely administered to all above the age of 12 years as the next important phase of the vaccination drive,” the Church of Ceylon said.
The Church of Ceylon is also deeply concerned that school education has now been disrupted for over a year which will have far-reaching implications for the progress of the nation.
Therefore, the Church of Ceylon said it is imperative that all avenues are explored to reopen schools without any further delay.
“It is also an opportune moment to device innovative mechanisms as alternatives for public examinations recognizing the disruption that has already been caused due to the pandemic,” the Church of Ceylon said.
The Church of Ceylon said they hope that the State will ensure the steady supply of drugs, oxygen and equipment to all parts of the country to avoid any inequity in the supply of necessary medication and care to the people.
“Priority has to be given to protect the frontline medical staff who are exposed to the virus more than others including the provision of booster vaccinations based on medical practice. Given the extent of the crisis, the costs of drugs and hospitalization and the need to allow for creativity on the part of our medical experts to respond to this crisis, we request that health authorities and medical experts be provided the space and opportunity to explore alternative treatments and strategies in managing the situation as a medical emergency,” the Church of Ceylon said.
The Church of Ceylon also urged the Media to demonstrate sensitivity in its reporting as they play a vital role in educating the people and not allow the contracting of the virus to be viewed as a crime but seek to promote responsible conduct in the day to day affairs. (Colombo Gazette)