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Wednesday October 20th, 2021
Health

As COVID-19 restrictions come off, Sri Lanka authorities alarmed over lax public behaviour

Prof Channa Jayasumana

ECONOMYNEXT – The general public must adapt to the new normal with more responsibly in order to maintain the level of control Sri Lanka’s health authorities have gained on the COVID-19 epidemic, an official said.

State Minister of Pharmaceutical Production, Supply and Regulation Channa Jayasumana said large gatherings have been observed outside Colombo despite an ongoing travel ban between provinces.

“Yesterday I went to Anuradhapura and we saw a large number of people gathering in religious places,” Jayasumana said.

According to media reports, the minister had himself visited a place of worship in Anuradhapura where he had made his observation.

The state minister warned that if the public does not follow health guidelines, there is a danger of the virus further mutating.

“We can see a new wave hitting the world again. We can see an increase in patients and deaths globally. So do not think the danger is over,” he said.

Meanwhile, Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella told reporters on Sunday (10) that the pandemic cannot be controlled just by imposing restrictions.

“We can’t draw a line and say okay from this day we are free of COVID,” Rambukwella said.

“The best example is Israel, where they vaccinated 73 percent of the population with Pfizer, and yet they found new mutations of the virus in the country.”

Sri Lanka identified 720 new patients on Sunday (10), bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country to 526,383.

Health Promotion Bureau data showed some 32,041 patients are still receiving treatment.

“We have not yet passed the critical period. Since we have relaxed some of the travel restrictions and some other restrictions, the risk of spread has increased again,” Deputy Director General of Health Services Dr Hemantha Herath told reporters on Monday (11).

“Following health guidelines will be the best way to prevent spreading. I cannot say when we will get to the situation we had in 2019, and I highly doubt that too.

“What we should do is try to adapt to the new normal,” he said. (Colombo/ Oct11/2021)

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