Protect yourself and others from COVID-19
There is still a risk of COVID-19 returning to the community. These simple steps can slow the spread of the virus — protecting yourself and others.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Clean your hands often. Use soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Wear a mask when you go.
- Maintain social distancing
- Cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze
Members of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party and members of the Communist Party of Sri Lanka have called a united front against the deadly virus.
Full Statement as follows:
COVID–19, let’s face the pandemic and fight together
The CPVID-19 epidemic is spreading rapidly around the world. Every day hundreds of thousands of people fall victim to the pandemic and thousands more die. Nearly 60 million people have been infected and nearly 1.5 million have died so far.
The situation in Sri Lanka is also deteriorating. By the time you get this statement, more than 20,000 people may have become infected and nearly 100 of them may have died.
The COVID-19 epidemic was successfully suppressed when it first broke out, but the second wave is becoming harder to control. This may have been due to the special features of the initial sources of the second wave. In addition to the thousands of people gathering at the source locations, they were also a group that was highly mobile around the country. Due to this, infected people are found all over the island and the lives of people of old age and suffering from other diseases are at risk.
Our two parties had an in-depth discussion on how to deal with this situation. We appreciate the efforts made by the President and the Government to control the situation through the intervention of the Ministry of Health, the Security Forces and the Police and the participation of other relevant persons. However, we decided to make this statement to point out some of the crucial steps that need to be taken in the face of the current situation and to urge the Government, including the President, to implement those proposals.
- The COVID epidemic is truly a national crisis. Therefore, the Lanka Sama Samaja Party and the Communist Party of Sri Lanka called on the President and the Government to establish an all-party mechanism comprising all political parties represented in Parliament to bring about a National Response.
- It is clear that we will have to live with the COVID-19 pandemic for many more years. Therefore, in order to live with such an epidemic for a long time, it is necessary to maintain good hygiene practices (such as wearing face masks, cleaning hands with soap, social distance). In other words, such a Behavior Change must take place. To achieve this, in addition to raising awareness, means of prevention (eg. face-masks) also should be provided free of cost to those who are at high risk. Legal enforcement will also help.
- Behaviour Change cannot be achieved by enforcing laws alone. Community Participation is essential for the implementation of the practices mentioned in the above proposal. We propose to the Government to make the COVID-19 Prevention Program a community-based programme conducted by communities, for the communities in the communities.
- Vaccine against COVID-19 is a major weapon in the fight against this epidemic. Currently, several major countries in the world, as well as the World Health Organization, are working on a vaccine program. In several countries, this research is at the stage of clinical research in Phase III Clinical Trials. Intermediate results of this Phase III Clinical Trials have been released in several countries and are yielding successful results.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has agreed to vaccinate 20% of Sri Lanka’s population. However, at least 65% -70% of the population should be vaccinated in order to develop Herd Immunity status in the country. We are not able to build collective immunity through the number of vaccines that the World Health Organization is preparing to provide.
Therefore, we propose to the Government to enter into direct negotiations with the countries producing the vaccine to obtain the required quantity of vaccine. We urge the government to initiate discussions with China and Russia, as they have already stated that they will provide vaccines at lower prices and more easily than Western companies.
Prof. Tissa Vitharana (MP) Dr G. Weerasinghe
General Secretary General Secretary
Lanka Sama Samaja Party Communist Party of Sri Lanka