Situation to be reviewed before Christmas Eve

By Vyshnavy Velrajh

The coronavirus situation will be reviewed before Christmas Eve and if there is a sharp increase in the number of patients detected then restrictions will be imposed, the National Operations Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 said.

Head of the Centre Army Commander Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva told Colombo Gazette that the Covid Task Force does not intend to impose more restrictions at present.

Director General of Health Asela Gunawardena issued a 10-point guideline this week and urged the public to follow them in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus during the festive season.

The Army Commander said the Covid Task Force does not see the need to impose restrictions in addition to the guidelines issued by health authorities.

Stating that the situation will be monitored and reviewed leading up to Christmas, Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva said restrictions will be imposed if there is a spike in Covid cases during this period.

He further said that the restrictions will come into place if there is a spike in coronavirus patients or the detection of new clusters by 23 December.

Meanwhile, the Public Health Inspectors (PHI) Association believes more restrictions will most likely be implemented in view of Christmas.

PHI Association Secretary M. Baalasooriya told Colombo Gazette a high number of Covid cases are being detected from areas with a majority Christian population, such as Wattala, Negombo, and Colombo.

He said as a result, restrictions will likely be imposed to contain further spreading of the virus during the festive season.

Pointing out that the April New Year was celebrated at home due to Covid restrictions, he said it is most likely that restrictions will be imposed for people to celebrate Christmas at home.

In the event Churches are permitted to hold Christmas services, the public have been requested to refrain from participating in groups, and for one person per family to attend the service.

Baalasooriya further said that restrictions will be imposed on carnivals and markets held for the festive season in order to prevent large crowds from gathering in public places.

He said the PHI Association believes more restrictions will come into effect closer to the festival. (Colombo Gazette)