Heavily populated areas posing a serious threat

By Vyshnavy Velrajh

Public Health Inspectors (PHI) have warned of an increase in the transmission of the coronavirus in areas with a high population density, apart from the Western Province.

PHI Association Secretary M. Baalasooriya told Colombo Gazette the key reason for an increase in transmission is due to individuals who have undergone PCR tests moving about prior to receiving their test results.

This poses the risk of a person being confirmed positive following a PCR test triggering a large scale transmission by having visited a number of areas for work purposes or leisure prior to receiving the result, he said.

Baalasooriya said PHI officers are also finding it difficult to trace such patients and their whereabouts, while their mobile phones are unreachable.

Over thirteen (13) areas were isolated from today after such Covid patients were detected over the last few days, he pointed out.

The Government announced yesterday (06) that the Hunupitiya Grama Niladhari Division in Slave Island, 60-Watta in the Cinnamon Gardens Police Division and Kokila Road in the Wellawatta Police Division will be isolated from today.

It added that the isolation status will continue in the Kerawalapitiya Grama Niladhari Division, Hekiththa Grama Niladhari Division, Kurunduhena Grama Niladhari Division, Evariwatta Grama Niladhari Division and Welikadamulla Grama Niladhari Division in the Wattala Police Division.

The isolation status will also continue in the Peliyagodawatta Grama Niladhari Division, Peliyagoda Gangabada Grama Niladhari Division, Meegahawatta Grama Niladhari Division, Pattiya– North Grama Niladhari Division, Kiribathgoda Police Division and Welegoda North Grama Niladhari Division in the Peliyagoda Police Division until further notice.

Baalasooriya said these areas have been isolated as they have a high population density and pose a risk of an increased transmission of the coronavirus.

Covid patients have been detected in the Peliyagoda and Wattala areas where employees of factories are found to be living in hostels, with three persons sharing a room.

Coronavirus patients were found in housing complexes with a large number of residents in the Modara, Wanathamulla, and Grandpass areas in Colombo.

Patients such as the individual who had refused to receive treatment and had spat on the face of a PHI officer in Atalugama in Bandaragama were also identified as a contributing factor.

Some individuals from the state and security sectors who were detected after undergoing PCR tests were found to have visited a number of areas prior to receiving the test result, he said.

Baalasooriya said individuals who roam around in high population density areas prior to receiving their PCR test results pose a threat of triggering an escalation in transmission.

Therefore, he requested people who have undergone PCR tests to remain at their residences until they receive the results.

The PHI Secretary said this could help prevent a potential increase in the spread of the virus in areas with a high population density. (Colombo Gazette) 

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