The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has cautioned the Government on the importance of adhering to health guidelines when easing COVID travel restrictions.
In a letter to COVID Task Force Chairman and Army Commander General Shavendra Silva and Health Services Director General Dr. Asela Gunewardena, BASL in its letter, signed by President Saliya Pieris PC and Secretary Rajeev Amarasuriya, said the following:
The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) appreciates the vaccination drive at present and the role of the Government, health workers and security forces in battling COVID-19, including the vital role that you are performing in this regard.
Whilst noting that the number of vaccinations per day in the last few days in Sri Lanka are among the highest in the world, the BASL reiterates the need to continuously observe health guidelines and to exercise caution when easing travel and other restrictions.
The BASL is of the view it is of utmost importance for the health authorities to carefully consider the views and the suggestions of independent health experts in order to ensure that the spread of the virus is contained.
The BASL makes these observations in the face of rising numbers of COVID-19 positive cases being reported during the last few days, the continuing number of daily deaths being reported, and reports of medical facilities being burdened.
The BASL notes that several medical bodies both in Sri Lanka and overseas have expressed grave concern over the spread of infections, especially of the Delta variant, and the new dangers this variant poses to the life of the community.
Failure to properly wear face masks, the failure to observe the required physical distancing, as well as the failure to properly regulate adherence to health guidelines, pose a serious risk especially to those who are more vulnerable.
The BASL understands the concerns of hardships that lockdowns and travel restrictions bring on the people and on the national economy.
However, health guidelines and safety precautions should be enforced in all activities including public transport and at every public and private gathering, whilst a more stringent testing regime is also implemented.
The BASL is willing to offer its expertise to the Government in this regard wherever required.