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ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has no plans to opt for a lockdown or movement restrictions, but health authorities should rethink that if COVID-19 continues to spread, an official says after the country recorded more of 900 cases of COVID-19 for a second consecutive day on Thursday. (27).
With Thursday’s 942 infections, the total number of cases in Sri Lanka reached 607,104, with 14,705 patients receiving treatment in hospitals or at home.
Deputy Director of Health Services, Dr. Hemantha Herath, told reporters on Friday (28) that despite the increase in cases, authorities have no intention of re-submitting the public to COVID-related restrictions. -19.
“But if it increases beyond a certain limit and the spread doesn’t stop, the authorities may have to rethink it,” he said.
“But at the moment there is no need to opt for restrictions. We haven’t even thought about opting for confinement and we don’t think we will need to in the future.”
The daily case curve that was down in December 2021 gradually started to rise in mid-January as restrictions eased and travel increased during the Christmas holidays and the long weekend of January 14-17.
Herath complained that in the absence of restrictions, the public began to flout COVID-19 protocols.
“We see that the public is increasingly neglecting to follow the guidelines. The easing of restrictions does not mean that the protocols no longer apply,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) has called for legal action against those who do not wear masks or follow other COVID-19 protocols.
“If the guidelines are not followed, history can repeat itself and we will find ourselves in a very bad situation again,” GMOA member Dr Prasad Colombage told reporters on Friday, calling for the commitment of prosecution of violators under Sri Lanka’s quarantine law. .
With 23 more deaths confirmed on Thursday, the country’s death toll from COVID-19 has risen to 15,369.
The recent increase in daily cases has been attributed to a startling hesitancy to get the booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Urging the public to get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Dr. Hearth, a higher level of immunity can prevent transmission.
“It is scientifically proven that a person who has been fully vaccinated is less likely to have symptoms, serious conditions and death compared to an unvaccinated person,” Herath said.
“And having high immunity leads to fewer symptoms, which reduces the risk of transmitting or spreading the virus to another person,” he said.
Fully vaccinated close contacts of confirmed patients can go through their day without being quarantined if they do not show symptoms, Herath said.
Meanwhile the senior consultant in obstetrics and gynecology at Castle Street Women’s Hospital, Dr Sanath Lanerolle, has urged pregnant women to get their shots and booster shots as infections in pregnant women have risen over the past few weeks.
“It is important that a medical examination be carried out if you have a fever or other symptoms of COVID,” he said.
There is no scientific evidence that the booster dose affects the child in the womb, Lanerolle said.
“There are misconceptions that the booster dose will affect the child in the womb. But so far there is no scientific evidence that it will affect the baby, so I ask all women eligible pregnant women to receive the booster dose to pick it up without further delay,” he said.
So far, 16.5 million Sri Lankans have received at least a single dose of a vaccine while 13.5 million people have received the first two doses. Friday also marked exactly one year after the island nation began its vaccine rollout.
However, only five million have received the booster dose so far.