Fear of secondary infections as guidelines were ignored

By Easwaran Rutnam

Health experts have raised fears of secondary infections after it was found that the public had ignored the health advisories issued by the authorities.

Secretary of the Public Health Inspectors (PHI) Association Mahendra Balasooriya told Daily Mirror that with travel restrictions largely relaxed during the festive season most people were seen ignoring health advisories.

He also said that social media was seen flooded with posts and messages promoting 31st night events at hotels and restaurants.

Balasooriya said that under normal circumstances it would not have been an issue but in a Covid pandemic environment there is a concern. “We did not see the health guidelines being strictly followed during the festive season so we now need to do more testing to identify and isolate the infected people,” he said.

He said that it is difficult to assume that the situation has improved as only random testing is being conducted and more testing may result in the detection of more patients.

Balasooriya said that even the isolation status was lifted at most housing complexes based on results obtained from random PCR testing.

“We need to do further testing as there could be secondary infections with these people moving back into society,” he said.

He said that with all that which took place during the festive season with the public moving around despite warnings issued, there is a likelihood that more infected people may emerge from Colombo or other parts of the country during the days ahead.

Balasooriya said that a risk assessment must also now be conducted and appropriate action taken.

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