By Vyshnavy Velrajh
Public Health Inspectors (PHI) have warned legal action will be taken against hotels and restaurants holding parties during the festive season, in violation of the quarantine law.
PHI Association Secretary M. Baalasooriya told Colombo Gazette that indoor and outdoor parties are banned as per the health guidelines gazetted by the Health Ministry.
Stating that they have been monitoring social media and received information on many such parties being held discreetly in the recent days, Baalasooriya said those hosting such parties will be deemed to have violated the Quarantine and Prevention of Diseases Ordinance.
He further said action will be taken to suspend the licences of hotels or restaurants found to be holding events in violation of the quarantine law.
The PHI Secretary said many raids have been conducted on such events, but at present the PHIs are unable to conduct raids continuously due to their engagement in detecting coronavirus patients and their close contacts.
Baalasooriya said they have requested authorities to implement a system to conduct such raids, while the security forces have also been requested to assist in the raids if required.
Pointing out that if such parties are not curtailed at present, he said the country will face the repercussions of such actions in early January 2021.
When inquired from Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva on such events, he told Colombo Gazette that the Government cannot tell people not to gather, as a gathering could be two persons or a group of more than ten people or family members.
The Head of the National Operations Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 said however, it is the responsibility of the public to act accordingly and maintain their safety.
Stating that people should meet only those known to them, he said if they gather unknown people to celebrate the festive season then they will face the result of it either by contracting the virus or being quarantined.
The Army Commander further said the Public Health Inspectors have been assigned with conducting raids on festive events being held in violation of quarantine laws.
He added that the PHIs have been conducting regular raids over the last few days.
As the PHIs are involved in conducting raids on such events, the security forces will not be deployed to engage in such raids, he said.
Upon being inquired if a request has been made by the PHIs to involve security forces to raid festive events held in violation of the Quarantine Law, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva said no such request has been made as yet.
The Army Commander further requested the public to adhere to the health guidelines and act responsibly during the festive season. (Colombo Gazette)