Sri Lanka officials try to calm the public as rumours of a COVID-19 wave spread
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Health Authorities are trying to douse the flames of anxiety being spread by reports of the detections of dozens of new COVID-19 patients in various parts of the country.
Director-General of Health Services, Dr Anil Jasinghe, said there were rumours being spread that COVID-19 patients have been detected in various places.
“These rumours may have been based on people observing that teams of military or Health Department personnel taking certain persons away from their homes,” the top health official said.
“These people are either former inmates of the Kandakadu and Senapura Rehabilitation Camp or officials or visitors to the camps who are being taken away to be placed under quarantine,” he said.
In case any of these persons do test positive for the Coronavirus, “we will inform the country as well as the people in that neighbourhood,” he pledged.
He said that the wife and an uncle of a person working at the rehabilitation centres had been found to be COVID-19 positive in Kundasale.
Another person, a relative of a staff member was found to be positive from Lankapura and one more patient had been discovered in Rajangana.
In a press release issued by the Task Force to Prevent COVID-19, the authorities said that 437 inmates, 63 staff members and 16 relatives or associates of the staff are confirmed as having the Coronavirus.
This brings the total patients yielded by this cluster to 516.
Jasinghe also said that a staff member in a privately owned hospital in Ragama had tested positive and that he had been a visiting lecturer at the Kandakadu camp.
Three people who came from Oman and two others in an Army-run quarantine camp had also tested positive.
Public concern over the new cases remains high.
Today the head office of one of the country’s biggest mobile operators, Mobitel, was evacuated and sterilized after a report that a friend of a COVID-19 positive individual had entered the building.
The Kilinochchi campus of the Jaffna University was closed yesterday July 13, after it was found that the brother of an inmate at the Kandakadu Rehabilitation centre was a student. (Colombo, July 14, 2020-sb)
Reported by Arjuna Ranawana