The United National Party (UNP) which launched its election manifesto today has incorporated several  COVID-19 related measures it will put in place if the Party wins the 5 August general election.

Under the heading “ Overcoming the Corona virus challenge”, the UNP pledges to take steps to  taken to prevent an economic downfall and implement measures to revitalize the economy and also focus on minimizing the adverse economic impact of a second or third wave of the COVID-19.

The UNP proposal includes carrying out 5,000 PCR  daily, issuing of at  least 10 million face masks for schools, higher education institutions and other such facilities and , 2,000 ventilators for  hospitals.

The UNP says it will implement a new program for  quarantine and security purposes and introduce a  special compensation payment will be made to any worker who dies while engaged in providing services to overcome COVID-19. Such individuals will be offered the same facilities offered to military personnel killed during the war.

The other health sector related measures include  promises of freely available Personal Protection Emergency kits, increase in number of  ICU beds  and setting up of a special laboratory to conduct tests.

A  Public Health (Emergency) Act will also be enacted to legalize lockdown mechanisms and to provide the required powers for disease control.

The UNP Manifesto notes that the United Nations Organization (UNO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have pointed out that environmental destruction has played a key role in the spread of diseases around the world.

Hence the Sustainable Development Act will be amended to further strengthen the environment protection mechanisms in the country. New laws will also be introduced to minimize the environmental destruction caused by ad hoc agricultural operations. The environment damaging actions that has caused changes in the weather patterns will also be halted.

The UNP  also pledged to start the second phase of “Suwaseriya” and establish a paramedical service in the cities within the Western Province and motor bikes will be provided to them for their transport.

Air mobile hospitals and surgical theaters will be set up. Large helicopters will be transformed to provide these facilities. They will be used to provide essential medical services to the rural area of the country. An immediate medical evacuation service will prove essential for the public and development of the country’s health services.