Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed a new state minister in charge of Covid-19 prevention, as the virus has infected over 23,000 people and killed 118 in the island nation, an official statement said on Tuesday.
The statement released by the President's Office said Rajapaksa had appointed Sudarshani Fernandopulle as the state minister of Primary Health Services, Pandemics and Covid Prevention, a new portfolio created in the government, reports Xinhua news agency.
"The President is of the view that the development and expansion of primary health care services is vital to ensure a high level of health care for the people, especially in rural areas," the statement said.
With the continued spread of the virus, President Rajapaksa decided that a policy and practical mechanism should be put in place to pre-emptively identify and control the spread of pandemics and the new ministry was created to meet this goal, the statement added.
Fernandopulle was previously the state minister of Prison Reforms and Prisoners Rehabilitation.
As of Tuesday, Sri Lanka has registered 23,987 coronavirus cases.
Some areas of capital Colombo are still under a lockdown due to the resurgence.
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