Coronavirus death toll in Sri Lanka rises to 323

The coronavirus death toll in Sri Lanka rose to 323 today after seven new deaths were reported, the Government said.

The seven new deaths included residents of Wattala, Nugegoda, Colombo 02, Polonnaruwa and Madawala.

The Public Health Inspectors (PHI) Association had recently warned that the coronavirus situation in Sri Lanka was out of control.

PHI Association Secretary M. Baalasooriya had told the Colombo Gazette that the spread of the virus had reached an unmanageable situation.

He said that employees at various hospitals, students at a number of schools, Police personnel, and Government employees have contracted the virus.

“This has prompted many wards at hospitals to be closed, and several Government Departments and schools to also temporarily suspend operations,” he said.

Baalasooriya said the key reason for this is due to employees at most institutions working at full capacity and their usage of public transportation.

Pointing out that the easing of travel movements during the Christmas and New Year holidays has also contributed to the increase in the spread of COVID-19, Baalasooriya said that people who left the Western Province during this period have spread the virus to other Provinces.

The PHI Association Secretary further said that another key factor is the non-compliance of Covid health guidelines by the public and various institutions. Many institutions have disregarded the guidelines and are found to be implementing only certain regulations to their advantage.

Baalasooriya said the public have also now recommenced holding parties and public gatherings, despite a ban currently enforced in this regard.

The only solution to contain the spread of the virus in the country is by strictly adhering to the health guidelines, and the public making a concerted effort to follow the guidelines and cooperate with the health authorities.

He further said the Government must isolate as many areas as possible following the detection of even a single Covid infected individual.

Stating that health officials should not depend solely on rapid antigen tests due to its lack of accuracy, Baalasooriya said the Government must implement a system to conduct more PCR tests to detect Covid patients.

He added that even though the public were extremely careful during the first wave of the coronavirus, they have disregarded all precautions during the current second wave. (Colombo Gazette)