A former fisheries minister took the drastic action of eating a raw fish during a live press conference – to persuade people to buy seafood amid coronavirus fears.
Dilip Wedaarachchi, a member of the parliament of Sri Lanka, was fronting a conference yesterday (November 17) amid a slump in seafood sales across the nation.
“I am making an appeal to the people of this country to eat this fish,” he says in a video of the event.
“Don’t be afraid. You will not get infected by the coronavirus.”
To prove his claims, Dilip then casually takes a bite out of a raw piece of fish.
He continues: “Our people who are in the fisheries industry cannot sell their fish. People of this country are not eating fish.”
The footage has sparked a torrent of comments since it was shared to YouTube.
“Eating raw fish is unacceptable, it’s crazy,” one wrote. “But speaking on behalf of the fishing community is a big deal.”
Another blasted: “The problems of the fishermen cannot be solved by acting stupid like this.
“If you are afraid to eat fish, you need to find a safe way to eat it.”
But someone else said: “You go to Japanese restaurant and eat Sushi, made out of raw fish. And even you take pictures of it. But when you see a person eating raw fish, it becomes a news. I see nothing wrong in here.”
In October, the Central Fish Market outside Sri Lanka’s capital – Colombo – was the site of a major coronavirus outbreak which led to thousands of cases across the country.
The incident subsequently saw fish sales plunge and tens of thousands of seafood has gone unsold.