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The Association of Medical Specialists (AMS) stated that the strict travel restrictions currently imposed to control the spread of COVID-19 must continue despite the possible adverse impact it may have on the country’s economy.

Issuing a statement today (29), the AMS noted that current strict measures need to be continued till the disease spread comes down to a reasonable and controllable level, adding that individuals as well as businesses must endure any hardships they may have to face in the short term.

The full text of the statement issued by the AMS is as follows.

"After foreseen an impending disaster, a number of health sector professional bodies and many health sector experts in unison appealed to the government to impose strict travel and other restrictions to our country to control the rapid spread of COVID 19.

While endorsing the decision taken by His Excellency the President and the government to impose strict travel restrictions to control the COVID 19 spread despite the possible adverse impact to the country’s economy, we are quite aware of its social and economic impact on the people of this country in general.

We genuinely appreciate the stricter measures adopted currently and the commitment to implement these in an effective manner to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on all citizens of our motherland.  

Whatever the hardships we face as individuals or business institutions, one must not forget that lives are much more important than livelihoods when the country is facing a deadly epidemic.

Rapid spread of the COVID 19 will increase the death toll in our country due to two main reasons.

On one hand there will be an increased number of deaths directly caused by Covid-19 related complications and on the other hand usually preventable deaths by other causes can also go up due the overloading and exhaustion of main health care delivery services.

We believe that current strict measures need to be continued till the disease spread comes down to a reasonable and controllable level.

We appeal to all Sri Lankans to understand these facts and adhere to travel and other restrictions fully despite all hardships they may have to face in the short term.

We also appeal to all political parties and media institutions to play the most needed patriotic role at this critical juncture to take this message to the public in order to obtain their fullest cooperation, keeping their other agendas aside.

We would like to appeal to all other responsible entities to act similarly and educate and motivate our general public to follow these restrictions at this critical moment.

We urge you to engage in constructive criticism and dialogue with the relevant authorities in a sincere manner to achieve our goal of bringing the pandemic under control.

We have no doubt that such collective action will certainly be a great strength to mitigate the current pandemic affecting our motherland and bring down the transmission to a desirable minimum."