SL Prez highlights efforts to combat Covid-19, corruption

In a message marking the completion of his first year in office as the Sri Lankan President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that his government was ready to strengthen efforts to fight the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, as well as corruption and poverty in the island-nation.

Rajapaksa was sworn in as the eighth President of Sri Lanka on November 18, 2019, two days after his Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna party in alliance with the Sri Lanka People’s Freedom Alliance won the presidential election with a majority of 52.25 per cent.

In the televised statement on Wednesday, Rajapaksa said that with the world presently experiencing a second wave of the the pandemic, Sri Lanka was acting according to a plan.

While successfully containing the spread of the coronavirus, Sri Lanka’s healthcare sector had been able to maintain a mortality rate of less than 0.05 per cent of those diagnosed with the disease and referred for treatment.

He urged the people to adhere to health guidelines and fulfil their respective duties as responsible citizens so as to control the new wave of virus.

Due to a recent resurgence, Sri Lanka’s Covid-19 caseload has increased to 18,402, while the death toll stood at 69.

Rajapaksa further pledged to eliminate waste and corruption in the state administration as well as in all the ministries and government institutions.

The President also said that within the past one year his government was able to provide 100,000 jobs targeting the poorest of the poor in the country and through each of these employment opportunities, a foundation was laid for a better future for extremely poor families.

So far, 35,000 jobs have been given to the most suitable candidates. The rest will be given jobs soon, he said.