Former Health Minister raises alarm over SL’s Covid death rate

The current condition of Sri Lanka’s health sector has dropped considerably and is now at a point where Covid-19 death rates are among the worst in South Asia, says Former Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne.

He made this statement while speaking in Parliament a short while ago today (30).

“The covid death rate must be counted by assessing the number of deaths per 1 million people. The Maldives has reported 442 deaths per 1 million people. Afghanistan has recorded 182 deaths per 1 million people. Bangladesh has recorded 160 deaths per 1 million people. Pakistan had 126 deaths per 1 million people, and India, being a country that was badly affected had 334 deaths per 1 million people. Whereas, Sri Lanka has had 664 deaths per 1 million people. This is self-explanatory that Sri Lanka has the highest covid death rate in South Asia,” said Senaratne.

He blamed the current Government for not developing the State Owned hospitals as they were in the past.

“Back in 2018, Microsoft owner Bill Gates came to Sri Lanka and said that the world must look towards Sri Lanka to see what first class primary healthcare is. World Health Organisation Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom said that the Sri Lankan healthcare system could be considered the best in the world, let alone Asia. Dr Tedrose also said that this was because the leadership at that time had given clear direction sto the Health Services. Today, we do not receive such compliments,” added Senaratne.

Further, Senaratne condemned the Government for not taking legal action against the “Dhammika Paniya”.

“The Government is silent. They promoted the Dhammika Paniya saying that it was a miraculous cure for Covid. Everyone rushed to praise the Dhammika Paniya, even the speaker of the house went and drank it. Today, the Government is silent. This is because it was a ploy to distract people from the Governments’ short comings,” he said.

In conclusion, Senaratne said that Sri Lanka faced a severe blow due to the pandemic as preventive measures were not taken early enough, and scientific matters were not dealt with scientific research and practices.

“Dhammika Paniya came, then Sudharshini pot throwing started, then came the Ritigala Paniya. All these were not scientifically proven, and today we are facing the consequences,” Senaratne said.