- Raises concerns about Ja’pura University lab withdrawing from PCR tests after its positive cases were rejected by Govt.
- RW says UNP was among stakeholders calling for increasing tests
- Calls on Govt. to improve public transparency
The United National Party (UNP) yesterday questioned the accuracy of the COVID-19 figures issued by the Government following a decision to halt conducting PCR test at the Sri Jayawardenapura University.
Speaking at a political meeting in Dambadeniya, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe charged that discrepancies between PCR test results from the university and the Health Ministry casted a doubt on the accuracy of the COVID-19 infected patient numbers released by the Government.
“Several times when the university had reported positive cases, the Ministry had overturned the decision to negative,” Wickremesinghe said, pointing out that the confusion regarding the first infected person identified from Ginthupitiya, was due to the difference of opinion on PCR results between the Health Ministry and the university. The former Prime Minister said that he was also tested at the university in April and expressed confidence in the university’s testing system.
Wickremesinghe stated that he looked forward to an explanation by the Health Ministry and the Director of Health Services on the matter, pointing out that the UNP and others, including the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) had called on the Health Ministry in April to increase testing in line with international best practices. He claimed that the Government needs to take responsibility for latest outbreak.
“Where else has a Government said we don’t need testing facilities, some governments have taken control of private testing facilities to meet the demand, but in Sri Lanka the Health Ministry has supposedly said that the Government’s testing facilities are now adequate and that the university testing facilities are no longer needed,” he claimed.
“Sri Lanka needs to be protected from COVID-19; it is the coronavirus which has halted the economy of the country today. We call on the Government not to conceal the true impact of the coronavirus spread,” Wickremesinghe added.