The Public Health Inspectors Union of Sri Lanka (PHIUSL) told Medialk.com that all Public Health Inspectors (PHI) in the country have decided to withdraw from all duties related to COVID-19 control with effect from 12 noon today (17).
PHIUSL Secretary M. Balasuriya said lack of legal facilities for COVID-19 control, failure to empower PHIs under the Quarantine and Prevention of Diseases Act No. 03 of 1897, arbitrarily held political meetings, non-issuance of the gazette related to election and the statement made by the Health Minister that people will face inconveniences if PHIs were empowered are the reasons why the PHIs have decided to withdraw from duties.
Mr. Balasuriya said that the lack of legal facilities for COVID-19 control at the grassroot level was a major issue and that the disease was spreading throughout Sri Lanka at present.
Against this backdrop, he said the law cannot be enforced against those who fail to follow health guidelines and that election rallies are being held arbitrarily as well.
“Due to this, the virus is likely to spread further," Mr. Balasuriya said.
He pointed out that although the Elections Commission had agreed that the health guideline should be gazetted for the election, it appeared that the Health Minister was not taking action to issue the gazette.
He also said that the Minister of Health had stated that if the Public Health Inspectors were given power, the people would be inconvenienced. “This statement undermines our duties,” he said.