Politician eats raw fish live on TV to convince public to buy seafood during pandemic

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.

Dilip Wedaarachchi telling people to buy fish
Dilip Wedaarachchi telling people to buy 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.

Dilip eating the raw fish
Dilip eating the raw fish

“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.