A special discussion on the prevailing Covid- 19 pandemic situation was held on 29th of April 2021 at 10 pm at Conference Hall of the Governor’s Secretariat under the Chairmanship of Governor of the Northern Province Hon.Mrs.P.S.M Charles.
The Chief Secretary of the Northern Province, the Secretary to the Governor, Assistant Secretary to the Governor, the Coordinating Secretary to the Governor, Provincial Director of Health Sector, Government Agents of all the Districts except Vavuniya, Director of Jaffna Teaching Hospital, Heads of the Department, Heads of the armed force and Police officers were also present at the discussion.
Hon’ble Governor discussed with the Government Agents of the Districts, the Provincial Director of Health, and with the Armed Forces regarding the Covid- 19 pandemic. Commenting on this, the Hon’ble Governor said that, the main reason for the spreading of Covid-19 in our neighboring country – India was the carelessness of the people in following Health guidelines, similarly if our people fail to follow the guidelines in weddings and in the religious festivals that will lead for adverse effects. Hence, She advised that depending on the capacity of the wedding halls, 50% of the people could be allowed and limited up to 150 and also instructs the police officers and Public Health Inspectors to monitor the halls and take legal action against those who violate the rules. Further, she said that not to allow the outsiders to the functions and also discussed about the functioning of theatres.
She further discussed with the Armed forces regarding the illegal entries into Sri Lanka through sea route and instructs the Government Agents of Mullaitivu and Mannar District to provide assistance in monitoring. Local Government officials were instructed to develop a mechanism for purchasing the perishable goods including vegetables in bulk and selling those to small traders and rural areas and to introduce an online marketing strategy instead of having to wait for a long time to purchase the goods.
Hon’ble Governor also said that wearing face masks and face shields are the best ultimate protection against covid-19 and also mentioned that it is a must to record the information and to carry out PCR tests frequently of the traders who go other provinces for purchasing goods, and also requested the Trade Unions to provide assistance to the Health Inspectors. Aforementioned procedures need to be followed strictly in Vavuniya District as the Traders from Vavuniya often travel to other provinces.
It was discussed to submit a request to Sri Lankan Transport Board and Private sector to increase the number of the buses while conducting the services to Long Distance as it is necessary to load the passengers according to the seat limits on the buses engaged in transport. The Government agents of Mannar and Mullaitivu Districts are instructed to conduct a discussion with Regional Fisheries Organizations regarding the Health guidelines which need to be followed during Covid -19 outbreak and also discussed to ban the vehicles during the business hours in Markets.
Further, Hon’ble Governor also advised the respective authorities to design guidelines to change the lifestyles of our people as there has been massive changes in the life styles of the people in others countries over the last 1 ½ years and also requested the Provincial Director of Health to submit a contingency plan on how to deal with an unpredictable disaster situation and also discussed regarding the isolation centers and the present condition of Jaffna Teaching Hospital.
Finally, Hon’ble Governor also pointed out that she has been received reports in last few days regarding illegal sand mining and Gravel activities and also received information that Government officials and Grama Niladharis’ are engaging in it. She further mentioned that illegal activities happening in the lands which were leased in the name of Agriculture and also added; allowing these will lead to wide spread environmental damage, and Sally and Gravel could be obtained for development activities only. These are needed to be followed strictly in Mannar, Vavuniya and Mullaitivu Districts.