OPPOSITION Leader Honorable Matthew Wale says the lack of government foresight, direction and leadership is making the COVID crisis even worse.
Wale made a statement today (Thursday 24th of February) in response to concerns raised by provincial health authorities that the lack of any national response plan for the provinces is even worse than the COVID itself.
The Opposition Leader says it was shocking to note in the Health Minister’s speech recently that the COVID 19 transmission is heading to the most vulnerable population in the rural communities, yet there was no mention of any response plan for provinces.
“How is the government going to manage the situation in the provinces? The fact that provincial health authorities are left in the dark because of the lack of any response plan from the national government further confirms the lack of preparedness in the last two years,” he said.
Hon Wale said provinces have been requesting health infrastructure, human and other resources in the last two years but was ignored by the government.
The Opposition Leader said now that the provinces are faced with serious situation and with limited resources, government response is characterised by panic reactions, a confirmation of lack of robust planning.
“Its been 5 weeks since the COVID outbreak and the admittance by the health minister in his recent address that we are under testing and unaware of the extent of infections also confirms that no one knows what are government plans in tackling the crisis,” he said.
Opposition Leader Hon Wale also questioned the COVID National Response Plan mentioned by the Prime Minister in his nationwide address on Sunday 6th February.
Hon Wale said the Prime Minister in his address two weeks ago said Caucus and Cabinet would meet to consider the National Response Plan, yet to date the country is still waiting.
“Where is the Response Plan? Have Caucus and Cabinet deliberated on it? In fact this is the most important component that should have been prioritised in the past two years. The fact that Caucus and Cabinet are just deliberating on it now further confirms the government’s gross negligence in the last 2 years,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Opposition Leader said it is also appalling to see that the government is still conducting trainings when we are in a situation that requires people on the ground working.
“Why are we still conducting trainings during a community transmission and outbreak. These are things that should have been done in the last 2 years to respond to the current situation,” Hon Wale said.