An appeal from the Mayor of Colombo

Mayor of Colombo Rosy Senanayake has issued an urgent message to residents of the City of Colombo and those visiting the city, in view of the prevailing Covid-19 situation.

She says that Sri Lanka is at a critical point in the battle against the spread of Covid-19 and that it’s no secret that the number of Covid patients and related fatalities are at the highest levels since the epidemic hit the country.

The Mayor said that the government is doing its best to manage the situation, but the health system is severely stretched, and health officials are struggling to cope.

“This is not unique to Sri Lanka as we have seen how the health systems of even the most developed economies struggled to cope with the epidemic.”

“I am appealing to you all to be extremely vigilant and cautious in your activities. Take your responsibility to yourself and others, very seriously.”

She stated that the authorities will, and are, doing their best to keep the people safe. “But they cannot succeed if individuals and institutions act irresponsibly. It is shocking to see people putting the lives of many at risk by acting with sheer disregard for the current situation.”

She appealed to do the following at a minimum, over the next few weeks:

  • Get yourself vaccinated if not already done so.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask or even a double mask whenever out of home. Sanitize often and maintain social distancing at all times.
  • Do not leave home unless absolutely necessary. Check if the service you need is available online. For example, many services related to the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), are available online.
  • When you do leave home minimize the time spent away from home.
  • Do not permit any visitors to your home unless absolutely necessary.
  • The government is permitting certain activities so that essential work can be continued. Do not take it as an opportunity to undertake any activities other than what is absolutely necessary.
  • It is alarming to see many business establishments, including but not limited to, restaurants, hotels, shops, and supermarkets, openly ignoring health guidelines on crowding, temperature checks, and contact info gathering. This is reckless disregard of customer and employee safety, and completely unacceptable. Fancy statements on corporate social responsibility amount to nothing if you do not step up now!
  • Businesses also should encourage employees to work from home unless it’s absolutely necessary to be physically present at work. In such instances they should try to provide a mode of transport for the individual that minimizes exposure.
  • Furthermore, employees may take unnecessary risks due to concerns about losing their jobs. It is incumbent on the employer not to create that work environment.

“Once again, I appeal to all individuals and business establishments to strictly adhere to the health guidelines that are in place. In fact, I suggest that they use the official guidelines as a base and create their own set of even more stringent guidelines to ensure their safety.”

The Mayor pointed out that the country is going through an unprecedented and very challenging experience. “We cannot afford to let things get any worse. Let’s all behave responsibly and unselfishly, even if it severely inconveniences us temporarily. Step up now!” – ada derana

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