SL deaths per million far higher than region: SJB

By Dinitha Rathnayake

Sri Lanka is seeing its highest proportion of Covid-related deaths at present, with 8.9 deaths per million population, said Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP Nalin Bandara yesterday (22), claiming the country also has the highest Covid death ratio of the entire world, with the rest of the countries in South Asia standing lower than us on this scale.

“We are heading towards death. During the President’s speech, he tried to convince us how successful the vaccination programme is, but it was not done in a scientific way, with a huge gap between the two vaccines,” he said speaking at a press conference yesterday.

Ministry of Health Epidemiology Unit Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Samitha Ginige also admitted yesterday that Sri Lanka reports a high number of deaths among South Asian nations.

Speaking at a press conference, he said there are few reasons behind this. According to Dr Ginige, Covid deaths have been increased due to the spread of the Delta variant around the country, while the lower population and reporting system are also the reasons behind this rising number.

“Compared to other countries, we have a good system of reporting deaths. Since our population is low, it is also a reason to see a hike in the death toll.”

He further urged: “Even though we have encouraged those who are in the 60-plus age category to join the vaccination programme, there are still some who are unwilling to take the vaccine. We urge them to take this emergency seriously and get vaccinated.”