Health Inspectors issue warning after hundreds gather in Kegalle

By Vyshnavy Velrajh

Public health inspectors have warned that large gatherings in public places, similar to that seen in Kegalle today, could pose a serious threat.

Public Health Inspectors (PHI) Association Secretary M. Baalasooriya told Colombo Gazette that public gatherings were a violation of the COVID-19 preventive regulations, which was gazetted in October 2020.

The Health Ministry has prohibited public gatherings following the detection of coronavirus clusters in Minuwangoda and Peliyagoda, which have resulted in a significant spread of the virus in the country currently.

Thousands of people gathered at a temple in the Hettimulla area in the Kegalle district today to receive free samples of an Ayurvedic medicine, claiming to cure the coronavirus.

The local concoction created by Ayurvedic practitioner Dhammika Bandara was recently tasted by Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi and other State officials, with discussions underway to verify its effectiveness.

Commenting on the crowd that gathered in Kegalle today to receive samples of the medicine, the PHI Association Secretary warned that such crowds in public places pose the risk of triggering another large scale coronavirus outbreak.

Baalasooriya pointed out that if an infected person was among the crowd the patient could easily transmit the virus to a large number of persons due to lack of social distancing.

Meanwhile, there is a possibility for a healthy person among the crowd getting infected by just attempting to receive a sample, he explained.

The PHI Association Secretary warned these reasons could lead to a large scale transmission and pose a risk for another COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

Baalasooriya further said they could only advise the people to continuously wash their hands, use hand sanitizer, and maintain social distancing while being among the large crowd that has gathered in Kegalle.

Two coronavirus patients were detected from Aranayake and Rambukkana areas in the Kegalle district within the last 24-hours ending at 06.00 a.m. today.

A total of 376 Covid patients have been reported so far from the Kegalle district since the second outbreak in Minuwangoda in October. (Colombo Gazette)