A former Sri Lankan minister has made international headlines after he stunned reporters as he bit into a raw fish at a press conference in Colombo on Tuesday. In the video of the stunt that has gone viral, Dilip Wedaarachchi, Sri Lanka’s former State Minister of Fisheries, is seeing biting and eating a slice of raw fish to assure people that fish are safe to consume. Also Read - China Suspends Fish Imports From Indian Company After Detecting Covid-19 in Samples
In what many called a “Bear Grylls” move, the act was aimed at dispelling rumours of COVID-19 transmission through seafood consumption and encouraging people to buy more fish.
“Our people who are in the fisheries industry cannot sell their fish. People of this country are not eating fish. I brought this fish to show you. 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,” Dilip Wedaarachchi said.
Watch the video here:
He also urged the government to take immediate measures to dispel the misinformation surrounding seafood and provide aid to the fishermen who have been economically battered due to the pandemic. Notably, fish sales in Sri Lanka decreased after a major coronavirus cluster emerged in the Central Fish Market in the outskirts of Colombo in October, Reuters reported.
A journalist named Dasuni Athauda also shared a picture of the minister consuming the raw fish, which has gone viral. While some found it funny and frivolous, many others appreciated the minister for such an appeal:
Earlier, another Sri Lankan had also pulled a similar stunt by climbing a coconut tree to raise awareness about the shortage of coconuts on the island.