The zoom discussion held between World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was very successful. The zoom meeting was held from the Presidential Secretariat, today (07).

The WHO commended the government for its efforts to control the spread of COVID-19, and Dr Tedros Adhanom said that his Organization is willing to extend its fullest support to the government’s initiatives in this regard.

Dr Tedros commended President Gotabaya Rajapaksa for his leadership in controlling COVID-19 by successfully controlling the first wave of the pandemic. The Director General said that Sri Lanka’s success was discussed at conferences held under the patronage of the World Health Organization. He also said that the WHO was hopeful that the current surge in affected persons would soon be brought under control.

Globally, there is a need for 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine for the 2nd dose. Sri Lanka is facing a shortage of 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to complete the 2nd dose. The President said he hoped that the WHO would assist in meeting that need.

At the meeting it transpired that approval for Sinopharm to be used for emergency use would be given in another 3 days. With that approval, Sri Lanka will be able to start vaccinating people with the Sinopharm as well.

The President expressed his appreciation for the support extended by the WHO through its regional and Colombo offices.