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No PCR testing where vaccinations are taking place – Dr Herath

ECONOMYNEXT – The reduction of PCR tests is due to the drop in the number of Covid 19 patients because of extensive control of clusters and tracing of close contacts, Deputy Director-General of Public Health Services Doctor Hemantha Herath said.

He told EconomyNext that the number of Covid 19 positive cases showed a decline in the latter part of February bringing the number of daily counts down to 514 on February 17 from an average of around 950 a day in the early part of the month.

Herath said the testing is continuing island-wide while the vaccination is taken place in the western province. “We admit that in Colombo and other areas which the vaccinations are taking place we are not testing,” he said.

“But in other areas, the testing is continuing and there is no shortage of technicians or medical staff to carry out those activities”

Herath said the health sector is still aware of the possible increase of daily numbers therefore under no test will be halted due to the decreased daily count.

“No one is taking a break, even though the numbers have gone down. If we stop the testing it can go up again because we don’t know who has the virus or not” Herath said.

However due to having no travel restrictions the close contacts created sub-clusters in the country.

“However, we were able to successfully control these sub clusters as well”

“In hospitals we have advised our staff to pay close attention to symptoms that shows when you have influenza virus and people with Severe Acute Respiratory Symptoms (SARS).”

However, Herath said no such case has been reported so far.

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Health officials identified 318 patients on March 02, of which one is a returnee from abroad.

Sri Lanka records a total of 83,870 patients of which 3,367 active cases and 451 currently under investigations in hospitals.

Some 415 patients were discharged from the hospitals bringing the total recovered patients to 80,020.

With seven more deaths being reported yesterday, the total number of deaths increased to 483.
(Colombo/ March 03/2021)

Reported by Chanka Jayasinghe

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