Drop in numbers linked to reduction in PCR tests

By Vyshnavy Velrajh

Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) believe a drop in positive COVID-19 cases has been recorded in Sri Lanka over the past few days as a result of a reduction in the number of PCR tests being conducted.

PHI Association Secretary M. Baalasooriya told Colombo Gazette there is a visible drop in positive cases in various districts over the last few days.

He said there are also reports of a reduction in the number of PCR tests being conducted in certain districts.

Baalasooriya said it is believed that the reduction in PCR tests may be due to officials assuming that PCR tests may not be necessary due to the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Pointing out that both the PCR tests and quarantine process is still essential at present, he said these procedures must be conducted in parallel to the vaccination process.

The PHI Secretary emphasised that this was necessary in order to be prepared to deal with any new outbreaks.

Baalasooriya said a new outbreak could be caused locally or could emerge as a result of tourists entering the country in the future.

He said if the existing containment programmes are relaxed, another outbreak could throw the existing COVID-19 prevention programmes out of balance and cause a major issue for the country.

Baalasooriya urged authorities to continue implementing the COVID-19 prevention programmes that were in place prior to the commencement of the vaccination process.

He said both the coronavirus containment programmes and the vaccination process must be carried out simultaneously to avoid possible future outbreaks.

Sri Lanka recorded just 458 infected people in the 24-hour period ending at 6 a.m. today (25).

The National Operations Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) said 94 infected individuals were detected from Colombo, 76 from Gampaha, and 59 from Ratnapura.

The remaining 229 infected people were reported from the other districts in the country.

The detection numbers show a significant drop in infected persons over the last few days, in comparison to a few weeks ago, where over 900 infected individuals were reported on a daily basis. (Colombo Gazette)