Polls can go ahead | Daily News


 

Health Services DG writes to President’s Secretary

Polls can go ahead

Health guidelines to be followed
Supreme Court informed of DGHS recommendations

The Director General of Health Services through a letter to the President’s Secretary has informed that Parliamentary Election process can be continued complying with appropriate public health measures.

President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva appearing for President’s Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera informed the Supreme Court yesterday that Dr. Anil Jasinghe, the Director General of Health Services has informed his client in a letter dated May 20, 2020, the possibility of continuing with the election process whilst maintaining social distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquettes and other measures.

De Silva further stated that Dr. Jasinghe has conveyed that Sri Lanka has been successful in controlling the spread of COVID-19 while the number of persons infected and the number of deaths is also very low at present, due to concerted efforts being made by the Government and by the health authorities.

Submitting the copies of the letter before Court, De Silva PC highlighted a part of letter reading -”it appears that the Parliamentary Election process could be continued whilst maintaining social distancing hand hygiene and respiratory etiquettes and other measures which the people are gradually getting used to and will have to continue as part of their daily routine”.

According to this letter, Dr. Jasinghe had said the health authorities would provide suitable guidelines to the Election Commission on request in order to proceed with the Election.

However, Dr. Jasinghe has warned there is a risk that any country can be subject to importation and spread of the disease since there is no vaccine or medicine of choice for COVID-19.

De Silva stated that Dr. Jasinghe has highlighted the necessity of gazetting the regulations under the Quarantine and Prevention of Disease Ordinance for the long term prevention and control of COVID-19. Romesh de Silva PC submitted to Court that it is the duty of the Election Commission to hold the election without unnecessary delay since health authorities have given the green light. De Silva further said that postponing the election is an abuse of the legal process.

 


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