22 October, 2021

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Stop Politicking Around Covid-19, Shut Down The Country For A Month!!  

By M.M. Janapriya –

Dr. M.M. Janapriya

Corona Virus disease 2019 is a dreadful killer disease which devastated counties like Italy, Spain, France, the US and England at the beginning, has been having a field day in India over the last couple of months and is starting to create havoc amongst the corruption ridden poverty stricken and brow-beaten Sri Lankan population. This is a virus that enters the body through the facial orifices mainly the nose and the mouth and that predominantly affects the lungs. The fact that wearing an effective face mask, maintaining a one meter distance from nearby people and keeping hands clean by frequent hand washing with soap and water or sanitising them with alcohol gel would keep the virus away is not rocket science. Whatever the variant virus (England, India, Brazil or South Africa) is, the preventive steps that should be taken are exactly the same. Hence no country or indeed a task force appointed to quell the pandemic within any such country should adduce lack of foreknowledge of a new mutant/variant emerging as an admissible mitigating reason why they should not be reported to the international criminal court for mass murder of their own nation by inaction deliberate or otherwise or indeed malefaction. Even England under Boris Johnson’s leadership is guilty of this malfeasance. Different countries made different choices in the way they managed the pandemic and were either rewarded or made to pay heavily. Sri Lanka being a small island her nation was eminently protectable from the virus that left the shores of China due to inadvertent and inconsiderate action of the local rulers and their colluding partners WHO which I have rebranded the Worst Health Organization in the world. I have written about this before so I am not going to elaborate on the matter any further. For our rulers, only some lives seemed to matter and as such our destiny was written on the wall right from the beginning of the pandemic.

World Stage 

Some countries decided on elimination of the offending virus than mitigation of its carnage from the very outset and were duly rewarded independent of their per capita income. These include, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Taiwan, New Zealand and Australia. Others decided to religiously Test Trace and Isolate with partial or total lockdowns when needed. They tested large numbers, detected most needed to be detected and isolated them and their multiple layers of contacts with all their might. They were rewarded too. Merkel’s Germany, Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore are some of the countries that adopted this method and reaped its benefits. Others like the UK and US which were headed by people who seemed slightly off the centre adopted insane methods and paid heavily as a result. Unfortunately it is not the idiotic rulers who paid the price but the unsuspecting elders, frontline healthcare workers especially of Black (A)and Minority Ethnic (BAME) origin and economically challenged individuals of the general public who did. Both Bojo and his US counterpart Trump wanted to save their respective economies while managing the pandemic and had sacrificial animals in the form of impoverished people, the senior citizens in elders’ homes and frontline health workers who were commandeered to work without proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) acting as cannon fodder. Adopting appropriate measures could have reduced the death toll to a minimum but they regarded pounds and dollars to be worthier than human lives. One chap has already paid with his political future and the other definitely will when the time comes. India made a mockery of the pandemic trying to jump the `developed country band wagon’ having a per capita GDP of only USD 2099. Meagre first innings score, insane declaration and dropped catches brought them an innings defeat.  Watched on TV a few days ago how Indian public was asking for Narendra Modi’s scalp. He too will pay a heavy price which might well be his entire political and may even be his personal future. Sri Lanka’s performance is as enigmatic as her political culture. Whether our rulers sleep walked us to the cliff edge through just ignorance or greed or indeed they had the bayonet of a force to which we are indebted for some reason or another on their backs just enough to cause a twinge, one would never know but what is as clear as daylight is the management of the period around the Sinhala & Tamil New year was an ignominious failure of insane proportions which makes me wonder if this too was another `experiment’ like the bubble gum experiment of the expat Bacillus Medius Kingside terribly gone wrong or indeed a manmade disaster smoke screen behind which to carry on pushing bitter pills down people’s throats. Who talks about Government’s responsibility towards bringing perpetrators of Easter Sunday carnage to justice anymore? Sri Lankans closed the country down on the 22nd March 2020 when the total number of cases was less than 150 and total deaths were under 5. Yesterday’s new cases recorded were close to 3500 and deaths 38. Why are the authorities hesitant to close the country down? Is it because there is no major election round the corner?    

Sri Lankan Covid Madness sans Method

How did Sri Lankans fare in the Covid arena? We did not seem to belong to any of the above categories. Our approach seemed blunderbuss from the beginning with the message that SARS COV 2 could literally be frightened away by the army Generals. Sometimes masked and at other times not. Social distancing would be adhered to if remembered to do so. At shop fronts some had hand washing facilities and others did not. I would call the Sri Lankan method the Yo Yo method.

1. When Covid-19 hit Sri Lanka in late 2019 in the form of a ‘bad flu’ during which period there were many hospital admissions with what they called atypical pneumonia, the treating physicians failed in their duty to notify these and in turn their slumbering Public Health counterparts rolled to the other side and went in to deeper sleep. (do a retrospective data search)

2. First case of Covid-19 in Sri Lanka was a 44 year old Chinese tourist detected on the 27th Jan 2019 who was treated at the IDH and after a fortnight or so was released from hospital amidst usual pomp and pageantry.

Look at the ‘virus proof’ DGHS and the fool hardy minister in kissing distance from the patient and the rest of the crowd. No masks and no distancing. Sending the outrageously insane message to the greater public.

3. First SL indigenous sufferer was detected in the second week of march 2019

Give the credit where it is due. The waiting period between identifying the Chinese tourist and getting our own first case was used fruitfully by the task force to get prepared to face the enemy. By 23rd March the SL Army had built 45 quarantine centres. Thermal detectors at the air and sea ports etc. By the 25th there were 3500 in quarantine and 14,000 contacts in isolation. Sri Lanka was branded the 16th Most Covid-19 prone country but ranked 9th best country as per its control at that time.

4. With the advent of SL expatriates from Europe Covid-19 started spreading fast and country’s test trace isolate led by the military worked somewhat.

5. By the 3rd week of March arrivals to all needed to go to quarantine and a few days later airports were closed altogether except for flights that were used to repatriate SL expats.

6. All island curfew was imposed on the 22nd March 2020. By this day the total infected was around 150 and total dead were under 5 and after a month this was lifted but continued in several high risk districts. Restrictions on gathering like weddings, funerals and birthday parties remained for many months.

7. Navy Camp Nidus

Navy camp was a rapidly growing cluster from late March 2020. A navy sailor holidaying at home in Polonnaruwa tested positive for Corona on the 23rd April 2020 had gone home from the Welisara camp crossing district borders. It was alleged that those who got the disease were the ones who wrestled with the uncooperative drug addicts from Suduwella in Ja-Ela on the 10th of April or so. The fact that this incident gave rise to a cluster of several hundred inside the camp is no secret. Therefore it seems that the sailors were released on leave before they finished their quarantine period. Who released them and on what grounds?

8. Situation improved slightly. Then came MP Thondaman’s funeral saga in which no health guidelines were followed. Crowd restrictions were flouted with the greatest impunity. Look at the picture below. Is there even a one inch distance here? This happened on the 31st May 2020.

Thondaman died at the Thalangama base hospital on the 28th May 2020. His body was airlifted to Gampola  the morning of the 29th and was taken to the Ceylon Workers Congress headquarters in Kotagala 30th.The remains were also placed at his residence at Wawanthan Estate, Ramboda, Kotmale.The funeral of the late CWC leader took place at Thondaman Stadium in Norwood, Hatton on the 31st. All this `round the country funeral procession’ took place very soon after the lockdown was lifted and while stringent crowd restrictions were supposed to be in place.

9. Kandakadu Cluster

In early July last year the rehabilitation centre at Kandakadu got inundated with Covid patients. In a jiffy numbers rose to 252 and the Head of the Corona Control Task force told us ‘bed time stories’ as to how the inmates could have got infected. This link will lead you to an article if you want to read more about it. Clearly this incident was a nasty ‘own goal’.

Despite Welisara cluster and Kandakadu debacle Covid transmission in the island was getting under control slowly. People relaxed on health guidelines thanks to wrong messages sent on electronic and print media by the politicians and health officials.             

10. General Elections on the 5th August 2020

Picture shows ‘disinfection’ facilities that were made available at polling booths. Where is the distancing? Corona was barely under control and the conditions were far removed from ideal or even good enough for elections to go on. Holding elections did go on as scheduled apparently with the approval and blessings of the Health Authorities who themselves have shown in no small measure their scant knowledge and their backbone made of jelly. Macko tried to conduct the elections under health guidelines and he may well have got it right for the most part but a project of this magnitude cannot guarantee a 100% transmission proof environment and as such may have contributed to the surge in infections seen in October 2020.

11. Brandix was allowed to import infected labour from India and the second wave got on to a flying start. Before we could say Jack Robinson Covid had spread far and wide. Subservient stooges lied to the public again. They maintained a ‘no community spread’ stance when indeed quite a few patients who had no connection to a known cluster were abound. It was only the PHI union boss, Upul Rohana I think is his name, who had the backbone to say that there was community spread as they were seeing cases with no connection to an established cluster. I take my hays off to him. Long may you keep telling the truth. This will take you to an article about the above incident if you are interested in reading more about it.

12. With difficulty numbers were coming down albeit slowly. Foolishly the authorities lowered the daily PCR numbers too. Naturally the numbers detected would go down. This pushed them in to a state of complacency and then to a state induced slumber. Emboldened by these inaccurate figures the authorities ventured out to `import’ Ukrainian tourists in what they called a bio-bubble to keep the `economic embers glowing’ little realising or indeed being consciously oblivious to the fact that in early February 2021 the figures were showing an upward trend. Some of the tourists were found to be infected on arrival. I guess in an economically challenged country like Sri Lanka this kind of `experiment’ to see if her biggest foreign exchange earner’ tourism can be kept on some inexpensive life support such as the bio-bubble scheme is pardonable provided her bureaucrats and the businesses responsible were law abiding or at least god fearing. They showed themselves to be neither and hence this so called ‘experiment’ is not an experiment at all but a desperate attempt at keeping the economy going. This is a link to the bio-bubble tourism of Sri Lanka. 

13. The Great Indian Tragedy Next Door

Indians initially showed a degree resilience in battling the infection and some resistance to the transmission of the virus. Modi did act sensibly at first and slowly but surely began to lose his grip. When `sun was shining’ on India she was generous enough to donate large amounts of vaccine to the rest of the world. Alas! Indian resistance was only as strong as their poor state of literacy and their high degree of ignorance. The present epidemic took off like a heap of cotton catching fire the moment England variant of high transmissibility reached India. Even though India has an intense population density and almost negligible literacy the spread of Covid could have been controlled better if not for the pig-headedness of Modi. I am not getting in to politics of India ruining the chances of survival of her people but if you want to read more here is a good link. There is a lot of similarities with Sri Lanka.

Please don’t get carried away by Indian politics. I just wanted to show how our task force snoozed on when the next door was on fire.   

It is a carnage of unimaginable proportions with patients being found in hundreds of thousands overwhelming hospital capacity thousands of whom dying defeating mortuary and cremation facilities, people dying on the roads and dead bodies being cremated by the roadside, open spaces and esplanades.

Multiple funeral pyres in a make shift crematorium in India

With such a virulent virus next door creating pandemonium Sri Lankan authorities failed to act quickly enough to close her borders to India. This is a gross violation of duty by the Sri Lankan rulers. Restrictions on travellers from India were only imposed only a few days ago. Trying to close the stable door when indeed the steed has already fled.

14. Sinhalese & Tamil New Year

It is true people have been eagerly waiting to celebrate the above New Year. Last Christmas was celebrated by the British in a muted way and there was no discord amongst them around the decision as the country was in a partial lockdown. Sri Lankan situation was not that much dissimilar. Our numbers had shown a rising trend despite lowered testing figures. If this is not enough of a red flag what could be? However a conscious decision was made not to impose strictures for the New Year and when the Head of the Task Force announced this over tele it appeared as if this was what they were going to do come what may. Advise to the public was scrappy too little and not forceful enough indicating the Governments complacency on the matter. History has shown us that Sri Lankans have been oblivious to health guidelines and lockdowns had to be imposed from time to time. So the question arises as to why this decision that lacked subtlety and precision was indeed made and by whom? Post New Year numbers sky rocketed. ICUU were overwhelmed. Few days down all hospital designated Covid-19 beds were full.

15. Current Situation.

Into the valley of death

Is riding the 23 million

Covid to the left of us

Covid to the right of us

Covid in front of us and

Covid behind us. Volley’d and Thunder’d. (Apologies Lord Tennyson)

Will there be any solace? We have to create our own `Faraday Cage’ guys. It is not difficult.

1. Just stay at home.

2. If you ever have to go out stay masked and

Don’t ever touch it till you return home.

3. Wash your hands when and where

You can with soap and water or sanitize them frequently with 80% alcohol gel/liquid

4. Keep a 2 metre distance from everyone around

And you would be home and dry

Discussion

The Disease

Corona virus disease 2019 is a respiratory illness mode of transmission of which is now very well established. The intricacies of molecular and sub-molecular virology is not useful to the common man. The simple truth is that the virus can be kept at bay by observing what I have listed above. Whatever the viral mutant is, no matter how virulent or how transmissible the virus is, what is required of the public is what I have listed in green and what is required of the government is, to Test adequate numbers, detect patients, Trace multiple layers of contacts and Isolate them. It is the bounden duty of all governments both in rich and poor countries to accord their citizenry security not just from macroscopic enemies like suicide bombers but also from Nano-enemies like viruses causing pandemics.

Leadership    

Countries that succeeded in getting on top of the pandemic had leaders who put the country first, thought clearly and acted decisively and were of the strong and unwavering belief that spending time needed to stop transmission was time well spent and economy that may have shuddered a bit would soon recover. Dithering leadership is a recipe for disaster just like in a real time conventional war. Unlike in a conventional war a viral pandemic poses an `unseen enemy’ which the military is ill equipped to handle. Hence steadfast preventive medical personnel should have taken the lead and the tri-forces with police should have helped in achieving physical success in testing tracing and isolating. Not to be. When the virus was a milder one as was the case with the initial phase military was effective but with the more infective Peliyagoda cluster that spread far and wide within days and with the present wave with the England strain military was caught out like how the ‘broken bone’ weda ralas get caught out with supra-condylar fractures of limbs (in which arterial complications leading to limb loss can occur even with allopathic treatment). Unassertiveness of the ring of health specialists that surround the President, with their hazy knowledge of the subject in their own chosen fields seems to have led to erosion of President’s confidence in their ability to handle the pandemic. Eventually the resultant combination seems to be like the lame and the blind. No wonder slightly more than an ordinary epidemic proved just too much for them. 

Authentic Information & Public Confidence      

In managing a deadly pandemic of the present sort public confidence is paramount. Scrappy, incoherent, inconsistent, inaccurate, incongruent and scant information deeply undermines public confidence and leads to disobedience as evinced by masks worn across foreheads or around the chin and people getting into `scrums’ at public transport facilities, any public utility or indeed shops. When there is no concrete information coming from official government sources any Tom Dick or Harry becomes a source of `official information’ like the GMOA, the union of Medical Laboratory Technologists etcetera. Representatives of these organizations who address the public do not have the necessary knowledge to comprehend the intricacies of epidemics let alone being experts in infectious diseases. This leads to a state of confusion of the public which rulers of primitive countries like Sri Lanka would seize to get behind in order to cover their sins. It is of note that German Chancellor Angela Merkel herself who of course is a learned woman being a qualified scientist, personally came on German TV regularly and briefed the public candidly on the daily situation of Covid-19. Why can’t Sri Lankan leaders do that?

I have pointed out several instances in which Health Departmental spokespeople appeared to be blatantly lying to the public. One such instance is when the former DGHS came on TV and said the 3 cases from the NHSL, Rajagiriya and Kolonnawa who tested positive for Covid the previous day have been rendered negative on retesting. He was so predictable. I knew he had to do this in order to maintain `no community spread’ status. Lo and behold he did. Naturally people become cynical about all government communiques. Just look at these figures. Highest number of Covid patients so far detected per day has been yesterday. It was something to the tune of 3500 or so with 38 deaths. This number of positives has been detected by testing only around 25,000 people. If simple arithmetic is used to calculate how many it would have been if the testing has been close to recommended numbers viz. 20,000/1 Million population the real number detected would have been 64,400. [(460,000 ÷ 25,000) x 3500] This seems about right to me but as I have not used an appropriate statistical method I cannot vouch for its accuracy. Nevertheless even if the corrected figure is half of my score which would still be 32,200 a figure close to 10 times the government declared figure. A specialist doctor in the Health Department reiterating on TV a few nights ago that there was no community spread is hilarious. On that count the president of one of the nurses’ unions openly challenged the authorities to link the 5 names he was going to forward to any or more established clusters. Also, criteria for inclusion for someone to be listed as a Covid death was changed recently as per announcement by the chief Epidemiologist on electronic media a few days ago. If a heart patient dies of Covid-19 that would not be counted as a Covid death unless he had evidence of Covid pneumonia. This is clearly a vain attempt at keeping the number of Covid deaths recorded to a bare minimum.  As senior doctors we know (or for that matter every doctor should know) that SARS COV-2 virus infection adversely affects the whole body in seriously ill people. So much so many researchers have compared it with Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS) which not infrequently happens with sepsis (serious infection with pus forming bacteria). This literally means the whole body is inflamed. When patients die of it they do so mostly because of multi-organ failure and in quite a few of them there may not be any evidence of lung involvement on plain X-ray. Also as it appears that quite a few now die at home there is no way to know if they ever suffered a pulmonary insult during the course of their illness. As such the new classification of Corona deaths is a last ditch attempt by the authorities to try and keep the number dead low.

Applying the same calculation as above the real number dead yesterday would have been around 699! [(460,000 ÷ 25,000) x 38]  Lying to the public is a dangerous game that can come around to bite them on the back.

This is counterintuitive because;

* Firstly the Department of Health Services loses its credibility and being the Health arm of the Government, the latter itself falls in to disrepute.

* Secondly the health officials have lost a golden opportunity to educate the public as to how the virus spreads and how human beings keep on disseminating it by their irresponsible behaviour towards a deadly illness. VIRUS DOES NOT MOVE. WE MOVE IT AROUND BY IRRESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOUR.

* Thirdly because of the fact that the mere knowledge of community spread would put mortal fear in to people’s minds so that they would try their best to follow health guidelines, authenticity should have been the flagship principle behind dissemination of Covid information at this point in time. Not to be.

Take home message. Corona though a rapidly mutating manmade virus is not invincible. Viruses need the internal milieu of living beings for their survival. If we do not offer ourselves as a freely available lodging the viral transmission would invariably slow down and eventually die away slowly and if we completely `insulate’ ourselves from the virus the latter lurking around in droplets etc. would die away quickly. New Zealand did this well. Hence we can do it too. Only political appetite and will would be needed. Numbers given by Sri Lankan authorities do not seem accurate enough. The real numbers seem a big multiple of them. There is Corona everywhere. Anecdotally people are dying like butterflies at their homes in many places. As such closure of villages or closure of districts or indeed prohibition of interprovincial movement is tinkering around the edges. I am surprised Public Health Specialists haven’t told the law makers of Sri Lanka such. What I am not surprised at though is, if their opinion has been steamrolled by the `know it all’ politicians. Come on Mr. President, be real, put your foot down and lockdown the whole country for a month not just two weeks contrary to the belief of some public health experts who wrote to you recently one of whom being a global expert and a 1967 batch-mate of mine.

After reading this exhaustive essay you deserve a good breather. Here is one.

Please substitute Corona for Religion in the lyrics and it will mean a lot too.         

 

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Latest comments

  • 20
    1

    Dr M M Janapriya,

    Thanks for the article …. and for having the courage to write it. The nation needs it.

    I have a few things to say …… but this is not the time.

    • 8
      0

      Yes, this is a most welcome article, although I must acknowledge that I haven’t read it with sufficient care. Four comments visible.
      .
      When Dr Janapriya says something it has credibility because, like 6.9 million Lankans he initially reposed faith in Gota; nimal said they all deserved to die of COVID! Janapriya recently tried to reach out to those people with this article inSinhala:
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/m-m-janapriya-14-may-2021/
      .
      This now is our main problem; getting our message across to Lankans who don’t access reliable information. None of us knows how to do that, nationwide.
      .
      Nathan and nimal talk sense; a14455, thanks for providing me with the word that best describes what sitrep24 and you say: garbage!
      .
      Lanka has no vaccines to give, owing to a variety of reasons. Want examples: rubbish talked at Geneva, the world has little respect for any arm of government, most fatally for the Judiciary; forced cremation of Muslims; Basil is in America; Jayasumana said (video was available) that Tamils had lived here for only 200 years.
      .
      Please, somebody improve what I’m trying to say:
      .
      https://www.hirunews.lk/english/271975/two-sri-lankan-top-medical-experts-advice-for-a-14-days-lockdown-video
      .
      Janapriya will not claim to be a greater authority than the two referred to there.

      • 3
        0

        I have now read Dr Janapriya’s article in its entirety. I approve of it all.
        .
        Greater candour from the Health Authorities now (exactly noon). This has been released two hours ago, by the Health Authorities:
        .
        https://www.newsfirst.lk/2021/05/23/full-list-authorities-release-details-of-saturdays-22-covid-detected-areas-in-sri-lanka/
        .
        That is a breakdown of cases by Divisional Secretariats, entire country, so that we have a clearer idea of where the detections now are. However, the actual numbers must be manyfold more. This isn’t rocket science, although we need an honest human with knowledge and experience to guide us, who realises that relaxation is also necessary. Thus the song at the end.
        .
        Break here: 13.29 now – comments updating commenced 45 minutes ago.
        .
        With many asymptomatic victims around the actual numbers are much higher, but I know for certain that there are some with symptoms not bothering to take precautions beyond wearing masks. Don’t do that, I pleaded. It’s not my business to report such instances. Surely, I’ve been almost too transparent on the Internet about “other matters” mainly, but when I have reported blatant cheating, nobody bothers to investigate. About COVID, nimal and I are only laymen with common sense.
        .
        tbc

      • 3
        0

        CONTINUING
        .
        I don’t even know who nimal is. Janapriya says that Professor Malik Peiris was his 1967 batchmate. I met him once in Peradeniya. I have worked out that Professor Kamini Mendis (father found from Internet to be Edmund Dias Gunasekera) was just one year ahead of me at S. Thomas’ Preparatory School, Bandarawela, only a couple of months older than me. The father owned Army and Navy Stores, Diyatalawa, which still exists, but was the only “supermarket” of those times. Edmund’s brother had Hali-ela Transport, 20 miles away, and he had an older son named Shelton, who was actually boarded in our home; my father was such a fine teacher.
        .
        All this irrelevant? Perhaps. But those details establish that I’m submitting authentic information, which are challenged only by anonymous frauds.
        .
        See this:
        .
        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/time-to-pull-down-politicians-from-their-pedestals/
        .
        That relates to politics, but written by “an outsider”; I have no idea who he is, and he began writing only very recently. A lot that is valuable there. However, I have disagreed strongly on one point made by him. If I’m wrong, for heaven’s sake tell me!
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 48 3111 444V) aka “Sinhala_Man” from Bandarawela

        • 2
          0

          Janaps, did you notice a strange phenomenon in this wave of Covid 19 epidemic originating in India. You will find that the prevalence of the disease is almost the same in all parts of India, but death rate varies a lot. It is very high in the so called Aryan belt of northern and western parts of India. In Kerala it is low and in southern and eastern parts of India it is much lower than in the north. This goes to speculate that the current variant is genetically manipulated to target the Aryan belt. Probably Pakistanis who share the same genetic material as Aryan Indians may have been used to make this variant and spread it to India. Since Sri Lankans share genetic material with south Indians, this variant may not cause much deaths in Sri Lanka, though may spread a lot.

          • 1
            0

            Hi Ken,
            Thanks for chipping in. You may well be right. I always felt this was a man made virus which is a Chinese-American collaboration. Anthony Fauci was being interrogated by some investigators regarding a financial link with the Wuhan lab recently. He kept on denying any wrong doing. There are many reasons why this could indeed be an artificial virus. Hope you and family are well. Stay safe. All the best.

          • 0
            0

            Gnana,
            .
            How come you are referred to as Ken? Were you guys batchmates? Never mind that; the “Sinhalayo” reading this must be getting scared.
            .
            As for those I consider the more intelligent guys speaking Sinhala, we know that we are from South India, therefore Dravidians.

        • 0
          0

          Dear Dr Janapriya,
          .
          I think that you have done pretty well with this article. Well-written with humour. I know that you’ve always eschewed “Party Politics”, and if at all, you’ve supported those whose colour is blue, or now “Rajapaksa-brown”. Not enough people have read it, although I’m sure that people like Professor Kumar David will make use of the material here, and acknowledge your contribution. I know that you’ve been utterly serious, and you’re not concerned about personal recognition. I will email you later.
          .
          By the same token, I’ve been a UNP-type, and perhaps associated with the right-wing of the SLFP, by way of family connections. When you wrote your “political article” seeking justification for a “benign dictatorship” you traced the political leadership from the time you began working as a young doctor. You forgot to mention Felix Dias-Bandaranaike. Very clever man, but arrogant. As a teenager, I had sat and humbly listened to him holding forth at a Birthday Party. Self-centred guys.
          .
          He was married to Lakshmi Jayasundera, and her sister, Malkanthi, was married to Gamini Wikramanayake, first cousin of my mother. They were not dishonest but they were very unpopular. Uncle Gamini and wife still live, opposite S. Thomas’ Prep, Colpetty.
          .

      • 0
        0

        See how easily present concepts flavour our view of the past. there weren’t “supermarkets” then, they were Department Stores. the one at Diyatalawa was small compared with what we had in Bandarawela – and it is still there. With two others belonging to the same chain.
        .
        People are now getting scared of COVID. Not many people in the town, and traders seem unsure as to how much they should stock of products (like packets of liquid milk that carry early expiry dates). Some had been forced to throw away. From what I saw, it looks as though powdered full-cream milk is not available.
        .
        However, I’m sure that there is no other way than this lock-down.

  • 20
    17

    I’m sorry but this is an extremely stupid suggestion. If shutting down the country worked then it would have the last time the country was shut for two months, but what was the situation after the lockdown was lifted was corona completely gone ?? No it was still around.
    .
    The government should focus fully on the vaccination effort and increase vaccination centres and include private hospitals as well. such an effort would be hampered if the economic impact of a one month lockdown would almost certainly without a doubt cripple the country beyond repair. Then the government will have to go and beg for another loan.
    .
    Another lockdown would only hurt the country. This is the only way we are going to stop the sinhala aluth avrudu cluster.

    • 19
      13

      sitrep24,
      When you say something against what the expert Dr. M.M. Janapriya has said you put yourself to ridicule. When you have nothing better to say, saying nothing is better.

      • 5
        8

        This is the problem with the country when some one with a Dr in the front of their names says nonsense no one will challenge it.

        • 4
          1

          Title “Dr” is being used by medical personnel as well as PhD holders. Author is a medical person unlike the charlatan medical anthropologist giving medical opinion.

        • 1
          3

          a14455
          You are right: Titles protect.
          Few dare challenge and risk being called names.
          *
          A person with a medical degree talks nonsense in other fields as well as his claimed one. See elsewhere here this “doctor” commenting on a “designer virus” genetically modified to target West Europeans; and see below related nonsense about ethnicity of infection in India.
          “It is very high in the so called Aryan belt … of India. In Kerala it is low and in southern and eastern parts of India it is much lower than in the north. This goes to speculate that the current variant is genetically manipulated to target the Aryan belt. Probably Pakistanis who share the same genetic material as Aryan Indians may have been used to make this variant and spread it to India.”
          Data from India:
          The total infection ranking is: Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, UP, Delhi etc. (Maharashtrans carefully distance themselves from the Hindi belt).
          Uttar Pradesh did not do badly during the first wave that ravaged many other states. But the second wave brought it to the brink.
          Who gifted the new boost in infection? Modi regime with its March-April free-for-all at Haridwar.

          • 0
            0

            Well. I guess it proves that this Dr is not above a pretty good conspiracy theory like our distinguished anthropologist.

          • 0
            0

            What else can one expect from the Jaffna light rail project

      • 5
        5

        Nathan,
        .
        No need to get emotional, alright calm down.
        .
        You have to look at this objectively without getting excited for “expert” opinions. The evidence I quoted of a two month lockdown to working, clearly supersede any “expert opinion” seeing as it was already tried.
        .
        What about the daily wage earners ?? The situation is more serious for businesses that have to operate in order to generate cash flow to keep paying their workers and keep lights on about You and this “expert” might just be able to just sit at home and claim a monthly salary and swipe away at UberEats for your next meal, but that isn’t the reality for people who don’t have access to delivery services because they don’t have a credit card owing to the fact that they don’t have a bank account. I don’t care for “expert opinions” when they’re clearly stupid suggestions.

        • 6
          0

          sitrep24 ,
          I know for a fact that M.M. Janapriya is a Medical personal. Sorry, didn’t know that you are a psychotherapist.

          • 3
            0

            Correction: Medical personnel.

      • 0
        0

        Spot on, Nathan.
        .
        Poor sitrep24 seems to live in a world of his own. He’s just not able to understand that we are a nation of poor people.
        .
        By now the more realistic talk for the “Double-Paksas” is that we’ll have the vaccines only in December, and not Sputnik V, it’s likely to be the Chinese one.
        .
        From what I read, Sputnik V seems to be one of the most desirable.
        .
        I won’t pretend to understand all this, but Putin and the Belarushian guy seem to have much in common with our Paksas.
        .
        https://video.foxnews.com/v/6255928981001#sp=show-clips

    • 5
      2

      Dear S.
      I cannot recall :
      …..then it would have the last time the country was shut for TWO months…..
      All “shut downs” were short periods and allowing breaks after 3 or 4 days is not lockdown. At every shutdown of less than 2 weeks continuous, the people move and spread the virus.

  • 5
    18

    Garbage

    Shutting down made sense when there were no vaccines. Forget about shurdowns and give the vaccines.

    • 9
      0

      What if they stupid leadership prioritizes something else not having the slightest knowledge about the real danger before the nation? 83-milliom grand nation in Europe, germans and their chancellor decided let the health experts to take the steering wheel right at this critical moment of the world why out idiots cant follow such leaders? It is the nuugathkama, lack of education and swollen headed ness of murderous Rajapakshe let innocent masses to be caught by anxieties as no times since independence. 😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎 Rajapakshes capabilities are not all is cracked up to be☹☹☹☹☹☹

      • 2
        3

        LM lives in Germany, so he knows!

        • 5
          0

          Sinhala Man,
          .
          It is not easy anyone out of the risk groups be injected with the vaccine yet in Germany.
          :
          But WEERAKETIYA cattle thieves led SLGO, has proved to let free granted vaccines be sold out to their kith and kin… Please watch the video below.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAIiA5jVfAY

          Rajapakshe miracles…. shameless man became the president of srilanka.. they talked about ” system changes”; but today, he s fallen not being able to settle a tiny issue….

    • 4
      1

      Presently available vaccines can take months to give a good enough protection. Also, to give vaccines, first we have to receive them. The whole world is waiting for them. Srilanka, with only 20 million people will get a limited number of vaccines, probably to vaccinate about 40% of the population. That will give some protection, in the long run, but to vaccinate everyone who can and want to get vaccinated – it will take at least 12 months. Besides the administration of the vaccines as it is done presently will spread the virus more than it will protect us. They need to do it in a civilized and controlled manner – like giving appointments to each individual through an online booking system or something like that. Look at the way the people are gathering outside the vaccination centers. Even at online supermarkets we have the possibility of booking delivery slots, but the government is not capable of implementing handling a simple one time booking system for the vaccinations. Its just that, they simply do not care. Only big talk about “Jayagaththaa, Jayagaththaa………”. Stupid people.

  • 5
    1

    In Seenisena’s photo I can see only two masks and they are not maintaining the distance either
    Next picture is worse only the Chinese chick got mask.

  • 10
    0

    Doc you had done your part by providing as much facts and advice in many such articles to people who cared to listen. I had read all your articles on Covid and responded with appreciation and some of my observations. Right now where I live in India the situation is worse, if not same A state like UP with more population than Brazil manages the pandemic as mentioned above, the results are what you see in real time. I continue to work and at times see Covid infected patients but follow all precautions rigorously to keep my family and self free of exposure. You have presented facts in perspective, which are not just accurate but gives an idea what to expect from here now.

    • 3
      0

      Thanks, chiv.
      .
      You always listened as you say.
      .
      And I helped you locate previous articles when you didn’t know how to navigate.
      .
      When Janapriyagave his email address to a friend in a comment, I seized on it (unethically?) and we’ve been exchanging very personal emails for months. However, he may have sensed that I’m such a garrulous ignoramus that he’d better not give me his phone numbers!
      .
      We have both been wondering how to get messages across to all Lankans, Sinhala-speaking youth; we don’t forget Tamil-speakers, but I don’t knowthe language.

  • 3
    1

    Is this cremation fumes an environmental protected on mass cremation emit harmful pollutants , toxic to humans and which can bio accumulate in tissues negatively impact the heart and lungs and is associated 6 feet underground the has more advantage that this. and studing the berial took more than one years (Stop Politicking Around Covid-19) rather than stuidng the how to stop the virus spreading see the present situaltion and its causes.

    Look at the first farewell chinese patient at the first phase the health authority took this as a normal flue
    where began spreading rapidly around the world, prompting the World Health Organization where we did not study the fatal period

  • 6
    0

    A responsible citizen has written a very good article for the benefit of the public. Thanks.

  • 1
    0

    “Our approach seemed blunderbuss from the beginning with the message that SARS COV 2 could literally be frightened away by the army Generals. Sometimes masked and at other times not.”
    So who is going to implement this lock-down/shutdown?
    Often than not, ignorance and arrogance go hand in hand, masked as wisdom.

    • 1
      2

      I too support the authour’s call for a lock-down, but be fair to the general population and be respectful – nobody thinks the nonsense you say about army generals scaring SARS-Cov-2 away. Introducing such pathetic comical elements into a discussion about a serious situation is comparable with the total mismanagement of the country by corrupt politicians, which is precisely the problem in SriLanka, namely that we have a bunch of totally corrupt politicians (read: thugs), most of whom have not even passed O/Ls, running the country. They are not capable of understanding even the simplest thing. They don’t communicate with the people. Recently one such politician, when asked by the doctors to lock-down the country said “Why do we have a president if the doctors are going to run the country”! The president most probably is not even informed of the true depth and gravity of the situation.

      • 3
        0

        Punchi Point
        Punchi brain
        Punchi Willi

        “The president most probably is not even informed of the true depth and gravity of the situation.”

        Yet he claims to be Sinhala/Buddhist president.
        Doesn’t he watch news read news paper, don’t the saffron brigades whom Gota visits two or three times a week brief him on current conditions?
        He is known to receive advice from Karaka council on a regular basis don’t they discuss how bad the country’s health has been administered by war criminals.

        By the way why do you need 15,000 generals?

  • 0
    1

    Dr. J.
    You confused me with the video. It says :… Religion is the reason the world is breaking up to pieces…… I unreservedly agree about organised religions and the conduct of their hierarchies.
    But the the singer appeals to Jesus Allah and Rama to help save us.
    Somewhat contradictory ?

  • 1
    1

    As you (Dr. Janapriya) very correctly pointed out “viruses need the internal milieu of living beings for their survival. If we do not offer ourselves as a freely available lodging the viral transmission would invariably slow down and eventually die away”
    Locking Down country for just one month will help to achieve this? Just look at the ground situation, the virus is everywhere, there are thousands of asymptomatic cases out there in the society at large, why can’t we push the authorities to do more tests and simultaneously expedite vaccination, that will surely bring us more results against this invincible enemy. Even better if you could have ended your article with this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bnvVFPInAs

  • 6
    0

    Anybody heard of Oddamvadi? Its a small town in the Eastern Province. Today the Times reported that 224 people who had died of Covid had been buried in the local Muslim cemetery. http://www.sundaytimes.lk/210523/news/224-covid-bodies-buried-at-oddmavadi-community-leaders-seek-another-site-444794.html
    .
    If 224 people have died in this small town how can the national total be a mere 1,000? Obviously it is much higher. I agree with the Doctor, close the country down and stop the spread.

    • 1
      4

      Yes. This is another problem. Those 224 are Muslim Covid deaths from the whole country, not just in that town.
       
      In a such a flood-prone country, they should never have allowed burials directly on the soil. The recommended 1.2 m to the watertable cannot be achieved anywhere in the country (except maybe some small patches in the north), because when it rains and the floods come, like it has been past month, then the distance to the watertable becomes zero in those place. Now with the floods, the active viruses must be floating in the water all over where the Covid dead have been buried. For all we know, a contributing factor to the sudden increase in the pandemic in Srilanka could be due to infection through contamination of surfaces by infected water and aerosols (direct inhalation and through surface contamination, everything from vegetation to animals and nearby buildings/vehicles). Related viruses can travel several hundred meters in soil, depending on the soil type. With such a dangerous virus, which mutates quickly and with reported high survival rates outside the host, nothing should be left to chance. Lets wait and see where this burial drama is going to end….

      • 2
        0

        ‘Those 224 are Muslim Covid deaths from the whole country, not just in that town.’
        .
        Is that possible? All 224 infected corpses from all over the country transported to Oddamvadi? Surely there are Muslim burial grounds in other places.

  • 2
    0

    Yeaterday i pointed out requting the Good health authority to set guidelines for Black Fungus the new imerging virus today the heading in Adaderana is as below

    Case of India’s Black Fungus reported from Ampara

    This virus effects the eye and brain the immdeate remedy is wash hands use head cover but the Health Authority can update after monitoring the quality and effectiveness of medical care good understanding of the complexity and start now.

    Every one is handling money how far is this paper money is clean and coins this passes hand to hand coming from every corner Money changes hands so much that it inevitably picks up pathogens along the way. It carry germs, both on paper currency and coins.

  • 3
    1

    We think that India is far worse hit than Srilanka…. but the reality is that we are already fast approaching it and if the trend (taking number of deaths and newly infected as measures) continues, Srilanka will be worse hit than India in just a few days:
     
    India Population = 13.66 billion
    SriLanka Population = 21.8 million
    India’s population is 62.67 times larger than Sri Lanka.
     
    NUMBER OF REPORTED DEATHS:
    Highest number of deaths reported:
    India (21st May) = 4194
    Srilanka (22nd May) = 45
    So, on 22nd May (yesterday) only another 22 deaths (66 – 44) separated us from the death number level as India.
     
    NUMBER OF REPORTED NEW CASES:
    India = 243,777 (22nd May)
    Srilanka = 3,547 (21st May)
    243,777/62.67 = 3,890
    So if there were 343 more infected reported, then we will be in the same situation as India was on 22nd May 2021.
    In India the trend shows a decreasing curve, while in Srilanka its increasing.
     
    The situation is extremely bad and getting worse by the hour.
    A TOTAL lock-down is necessary to control the spread of the virus.

    • 3
      1

      Punchi Point
      Punchi brain
      Punchi Willi

      What made you think you are qualified to compare health standards in two different area, country or states.?

      “The situation is extremely bad and getting worse by the hour.”

      Why?
      If the situation is extremely bad and getting worse by the hour what are the Ranavirus Generals, Gota, Mahinda, Weera, ….other patriots doing to prevent the situation getting worse?

  • 2
    9

    Covid is a hoax.
    During a deadly pandemic you will see people literally dropping dead in front of your eyes on the streets.
    So far we have seen nothing! If people start dropping dead on the street from now on, it will be due to the so called ‘vaccine’ and not this imaginary ‘virus’

  • 1
    2

    ”Stop Politicking Around Covid-19, Shut Down The Country For A Month”

    I don’t want to discuss various points you have made but assuming that the above is your conclusion, what is the level of lockdown you are proposing? A curfew is the extreme of lockdowns & to my knowledge, only SL imposed a continuous 5 week curfew & to some extent, India, where it was flouted by poor migrant workers. Having been left destitute & homeless by the curfew, these people even walked hundreds of miles back to their villages, inevitably, bringing the virus to remote parts of the country as well. It did not work in densely populated India but SL, apparently, was commended for its handling of the pandemic as the 9th best country to contain the pandemic successfully. Despite the logistical nightmare of distributing food & doling out Rs 5000 to the poor, apparently, everybody was looked after & I am sure the govt. is in a better position to do the same the second time round, perhaps, even better, now that lessons can be learnt from failures, if any. So, your conclusion makes sense as the incubation period is considered to be 2 weeks, which makes me wonder why the pandemic was rampant when a simple 2 week worldwide curfew could have eliminated the virus.

    cont.

  • 1
    1

    cont.

    Anyway, initially, SL was on top of the situation while even some developed countries were unable to stop the rising death rate. However, these countries are now easing the lockdowns gradually & UK has systematically vaccinated over 50m of its population to date while SL is going back to a lockdown. So before you blame Boris J et al for their mistakes, don’t you think the SL govt., particularly, the health minister, should take responsibility for the total mess that has been created? We have a health minister who has more faith in divine intervention & even endorsing snake oil merchants, while the minister for pandemic is officially selling vaccines which have been donated. What is your opinion on that?

  • 3
    0

    Dear Mr.Sitrep24
    I do look at the comments on my articles but rarely do I respond to those comments. Yours deserves one because you seem needing to be educated. May I refer you to the many articles on Corona I have written before. There in I have reiterated not just once but many times that the innocuous public health measures like masking, social distancing and hand washing +/- the more drastic periodic lockdowns only reduces the transmission rate of the virus to a manageable level so that the health sector both preventive and curative would be able to carry on responding to the needs of Covid sufferers with ease. I have also said the above mentioned strategy only buys time till either an effective vaccine was found and 80% population has been vaccinated or an effective treatment was found in which vaccination could go on at a leisurely pace. Right now Sri Lanka is inundated with Covid patients and in order to even resume the vaccination program the country is not safe enough for people to move about in. First dose of the vaccine accords some immunity but the second and in some diseases the third takes the immunity to the required level. Usually the interval between the first and the second doses is 4-6 weeks ( this is how the body reacts) but Covid has made this period ‘elastic’ for politicians to stretch depending on their finances etc. Even western countries stretched it to 12 weeks giving them ample time to inoculate the first dose. Simply, this process is going to take time specially in countries like Sri Lanka and hence what is important is to bring the transmission rate down to near zero by the public health measures in the meantime. Also please be aware that if you are given the vaccine while carrying the disease the course of your illness can take a deleterious turn with you dying at the end of it when indeed you would have survived had you not had the vaccine. This is because the virus DNA/RNA that is contained in the vaccine would definitely neutralize some of the antibodies your system has produced as a result of the infection. So please don’t fire off the cuff. Remember every man or woman who has a prefix Dr. has not got it just for nothing. Good bye. Stay safe.

    • 2
      1

      Janaps, further to my previous comment, could you please examine the behaviour of Covid 19 in the first and second wave with a forensic mind. You will realize that the first one was genetically modified to target west Europeans and hence the prevalence and deaths were worse in countries with their people in western Europe, USA, Mexico and Brazil. Eastern Europeans who do not share genetic material with western Europeans did not suffer much. Rest of the world including Sri Lanka, Vietnam and New Zealand were not affected much. Second wave was targeted on middle easterners, which did not affect Europeans, Americans or Asians much, but caused some problem to Africans as Arabs and Africans share genetic material. This wave may cause some damage, but if genetically manipulated virus targeting south Indians is spread, then death rate in Sri Lanka will be higher.

      • 0
        0

        Ken,
        I agree with you about the high possibility of this being a synthetic virus. However targeting different ethnic groups differently while appreciating the fact that it is plausible, I feel has not happened in this instance. I feel it was the extremely cold climate and the virus that shot the countries you mentioned with a double barrelled gun. It is possible that the Europeans are genetically more vulnerable to the virus. The only exception to the climate theory is Brazil and over there the population being of Spanish descent were more vulnerable to the virus like their European ancestors.

    • 0
      0

      Brilliant riposte, Janaps (if I may call you that.)
      .
      Dr Rienzie Auwardt, who seems to know you quite well, (a few years junior to you – and even to me) suddenly called me two days ago, and told me that he had had two patients dying “on him” that day. He said that he’d got two doses of Astra Zeneca (as he ought to have) but nothing for laymen here in Uva.
      .
      Every which way we look we see dilemmas.

  • 0
    4

    I have some serious doubts.
*
If “Covid-19 hit Sri Lanka in late 2019 in the form of a ‘bad flu’” it would have spread wildly before the first (foreign) patient was identified in February 2020. Does the author suggest that Sri Lanka was a secret hideout for the virus?
*
Did not infection start with a tour guide for infected Italian tourists, followed weeks later by a few returnees from Italy who ducked screening?
*
Infection data shows no “wave” but isolated ripples until late October (some with as many as 300 infections in a day but not sustained; some owing to pre-identified Middle East expatriates; and occasional bungling by the government). Despite appeals to the gods for more deaths by some foes of the government, the virus failed to live up to its reputation as a horrible killer (a pathetic 13 for 7000 cases or CFR=0.2%). Even when it picked up in October, despite whatever infection caused Ukranian tourists, infection averaged around 700 per day and deaths 5 per day (CFR=0.7) until April this year.
*
Infection rates, as the author notes, even showed signs of decrease since mid-February until New Year.

  • 1
    6

    Those who are promoting this fake pandemic and all its connected measures are not going to escape justice when it finally comes around.

    • 2
      0

      H
      Pandemic or not, the virus is for real.
      How much its hurts and which kind of people need study.
      The old are vulnerable as much as they are to a bad flu.
      The virus can accelerate death of persons with serious comorbidities. That explains the seemingly high death rates in countries with large ageing populations. Running down of the public health systems have contributed too.
      Young and middle aged people with normal health pass unscathed.
      *
      What has gone unnoticed is that in UK, the infection rate was on the way down by the time vaccination took effect (2 weeks from administration) and by the time a quarter of the population had its first dose of vaccine in late February, infection rate had tumbled down to a tenth of its peak in early January when vaccination stared.
      One does not need to be a mathematical genius to figure out the hype about vaccinating out the virus.
      *
      But do not get me wrong: there are vulnerable people who need the vaccine. They have to be looked after even to prevent premature death by a day.
      Sadly little interest was shown to ensure affordable and effective treatment for the infected.

  • 0
    0

    Few seem to be thinking of the Maldives (in some senses “closer” to us than India). COVID seems out of control there.
    .
    https://raajje.mv/en
    .
    That paper projects the views of the now ruling MDP.
    .
    I’m not sure whom this now supports. Can check and tell.
    .
    https://edition.mv/news/22386
    .
    And there’s this.
    .
    https://avas.mv/en
    .
    That’s a pretty high rate of infections, considering how small the population (although I’m appalled at how it’s been expanding since my first contact with the islands.), Deaths appear low, don’t they?
    .
    Many Lankans may need to get an overview from Wikipedia.
    .
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maldives
    .
    Tourism continues to flourish because each resort has an island to itself, but the problem of that income going straight into Swiss accounts remains.
    .
    I’ve not been there since 1994, but even now I’m not your worst guide to the place, as you will see from the accuracy of my predictions two and three years back:
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-maldivian-parliamentary-elections-2019-where-a-happy-result-can-be-predicted/

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