President Gotabaya Rajapaksa says the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine could be given to the schoolchildren of the relevant age groups as soon as the medical approval is received.
His remarks came during the virtual meeting of the Special Committee on COVID-19 Control held this morning (Sep. 03), the President’s Media Division (PMD) said in a statement.
During the meeting, provincial and divisional directors of health services have submitted facts and details on the measures taken to contain COVID-19 virus.
Further, a decision was taken to extend the quarantine curfew order, currently in effect across the island, until 4.00 a.m. on September 13. According to the PMD, the progress of the vaccination drive and future actions were also discussed at length.
Special attention has been paid to the need to complete the vaccination of those belonging to the age group of 20-29 within the next two weeks.
The President has commended all stakeholders, including health and security sectors, for their support in making COVID vaccination drive in all districts for people above the age of 30 a success.
The vaccination program is being carried out at 400-450 centres daily. The number of vaccines given to each centre will be determined on the recommendations of the health sector. However, the provincial directors of health services noted that the attempt made by the media to generalise the entire process of being irregular by highlighting incidents that took place at one or two centres, was regrettable, the PMD added.
The President pointed out the need to move forward the country’s economy by adapting to the new normalization system with the success achieved by the vaccination drive.
The country’s economy showed a negative impact due to the closure of the country for more than three months in 2020, the President said adding that we should understand the reality as a country with a small economy, and that all parties must take responsible decisions to move forward while protecting the economy.
Minister of Finance Basil Rajapaksa commented that the continuous functioning of the factories in the export sector is a great relief for the economy of the country and this was done due to the success of the vaccination programme which was implemented amidst the quarantine curfew.
Many countries in the world are re-opening to the tourism sector. The President pointed out the potential that the industry has to achieve successful results by correct decision making. He also instructed the heads of health sector to expedite the process of issuing health guidelines for the promotion of tourism operations in line with the COVID eradication programme.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Ministers Basil Rajapaksa, Keheliya Rambukwella, Dullas Alahapperuma, Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Johnston Fernando, Rohitha Abeygunawardena, Ramesh Pathirana, Namal Rajapaksa, Prasanna Ranatunga, State Ministers Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle, Sisira Jayakody, Prof. Channa Jayasumana, MP Madhura Withanage, Principal Advisor to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Health Secretary Major General (Dr) Sanjeewa Munasinghe, Director-General of Health Services Dr. Asela Gunawardena, the Commanders of the three Armed Forces, the Inspector General of Police and the members of the Special Committee on COVID-19 Control and the Provincial Directors of Health Services were also present. – ada derana