There’s been no shortage of rumours, fake cures or even misplaced fears during the coronavirus pandemic – but few have gone to such lengths to disprove them as this concerned politician.
A former Sri Lankan fisheries minister bit into a raw fish at a news conference in Colombo this week to encourage sales following a slump during the pandemic.
Fish sales in the country have cratered after a major coronavirus cluster emerged in the Central Fish Market in the outskirts of the capital last month.
It seems the outbreak dampened people’s appetite for fish.
Well, not everyone’s.
“Our people who are in the fisheries industry cannot sell their fish. People of this country are not eating fish,” said Dilip Wedaarachchi, gesticulating with a raw fish in his hand.
Wedaarachchi, an opposition lawmaker, served as fisheries minister until last year.
Unhappy with the situation, he came up with a plan to fire up everybody’s tastebuds in a move that some people likened to the time former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott ate a raw onion for gathered media.
“I brought this fish to show you,” Wedaarachchi said.
“I am making an appeal to the people of this country to eat this fish. Don’t be afraid. You will not get infected by the coronavirus,” he said, before taking a bite out of the whole fish.
The outbreak in the main wholesale market has led to thousands of infections and spread across the country.
Tens of thousands of tonnes of fish have been left unsold after the market was forced to close, and prices plunged as people stopped buying and eating fish, a mainstay of the Sri Lankan diet.
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