As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc in countries across the globe, a number of poor countries like Sri Lanka are seriously hit with the outcome of the pandemic.
One of the recent updates from the country is about the Health Minister who was replaced on Monday according to the president over his claims that potions and magic water can cure the coronavirus.
The name of the former Health Minister is Pavithra Wanniarachchi and he had publicly endorsed the use of syrup made by self-described sorcerer Dhammika Bandara with the latter claiming that the recipe was given to him by the Hindu goddess Kali – the goddess of death and destruction. According to the claim, when anyone drinks the potion, they’ll receive a permanent protection against the coronavirus.
Doctors in the country quickly dismissed this but it didn’t stop thousands from travelling to Bandara’s home district of Kegalle in order to purchase bottles of the potion which costs about US$13 according to Aljazeera.
The use of herbal and traditional medicine is very popular in Sri Lanka and the country even has a council of indigenous medicine. The Bandara potion continued to be promoted even by politicians of the country some of which were photographed drinking the syrup. One of which is a prominent figure Wanniarachchi and Women and Child Development Minister Piyal Nishantha de Silva
The endorsement of the syrup didn’t stop both Wanniarachchi and Nishantha de Silva from contracting the coronavirus with Wanniarachchi’s case being more severe to the point that she ended up in the ICU.
Wanniarachchi was removed from her post by Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. She will remain in the cabinet as transport minister.
The case of COVID-19 outbreak in Sri Lanka continues to grow with about 359,000 cases and 6,253 fatalities. The John Hopkins University reported that the country has recorded over 167 deaths since Monday from over 3,600 new cases.
Even with the surge, Sri Lanka continues to reject the lockdown method as a way of containing the virus even though it banned weddings and public gatherings on Tuesday while restaurants are allowed to operate at a 50% capacity.