Public overconfident after first vaccine dose

By Easwaran Rutnam 

The public who obtained the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine have been urged to exercise caution and not be overconfident.

Army Commander, General Shavendra Silva told Daily Mirror that some people have begun to go about without taking precautions after obtaining the first jab.

He said that taking just the first dose does not give anyone immunity from the coronavirus.

As a result, he urged the public to continue to follow the health guidelines and take precautions.

Thousands of people have been given the first jab using vaccines donated by India.

The second dose is expected to be given after fresh stocks of vaccines are received.

However, with a long weekend coming up, several people are known to be making plans to travel out of Colombo on holiday.

Asked by Daily Mirror if there is a move to enforce travel restrictions over the long weekend, General Shavendra Silva said that so far there is no such move.

Meanwhile, concerns have been raised over PCR tests conducted by some private hospitals.

Public Health Inspectors (PHI) Association Secretary M. Baalasooriya told Daily Mirror that PHI officers are at times not informed if someone tests positive for Covid after a PCR test is conducted at a private hospital.

Baalasooriya said that there are only five hospitals in Sri Lanka which have been given approval to conduct PCR and antigen tests.

However, he noted that there are some private hospitals which conduct PCR and antigen tests.

Baalasooriya said that if a person tests positive for Covid from an antigen test conducted at a private hospital another test must be conducted at an approved government hospital.

“A PCR test must be done anyway at an approved government hospital to be sure if the person is infected or not,” he said.

He said that a result of a test conducted at an approved hospital can be accepted but if the test is done at a private facility then there are some concerns over the test results.