Govt. makes vaccination card mandatory to enter public places from 1 Jan.

Monday, 20 December 2021 04:07 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said the Government has decided to make COVID-19 vaccination cards compulsory to enter public places from 1 January.

The Health Ministry is taking further steps in this regard, he said speaking at the Gampaha District COVID-Prevention Committee meeting on Friday.

Ranatunga further stated that it was the responsibility of all citizens to obtain the vaccine against COVID-19 at the first given opportunity. 

As of now 16 million of the total population have received the first dose of the vaccine, whilst around 14 million people are double vaccinated. In the Gampaha District alone 1.5 million people have been given both doses.

Although the booster vaccine has just begun in the Gampaha District, the health authorities said there was very little interest among the public to obtain it.

The doctors pointed out that people had conveniently forgotten the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic and were disregarding health guidelines.

Responding to this, Minister Ranatunga said that a public awareness program had been launched in this regard.

The Minister has also instructed the Local Government Authorities, Divisional Secretariats and Medical Officers in the Gampaha District to implement a joint program to encourage the public to obtain the booster vaccine against COVID-19, whilst directing them to complete the booster vaccine administration before 31 December.

The heads of Local Government bodies complained to the Minister that for providing certain essential resources to the Health Authorities during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak, some of the organisations had to face audits.

However, the Minister pointed out that as it was a decision taken by the Gampaha District COVID-Prevention Committee, to submit facts for the relevant inquiry.

Western Province Governor and Gampaha District Acting Secretary Pradeep Dasanayake, District Coordinating Committee Chairman Pahan Pradip Withana, MPs Kokila Gunawardena and Upul Mahendra Rajapaksa were also present at the discussion.