The Health Ministry yesterday urged the public to stop creating a stigma over the COVID-19 pandemic as this was leading to positive patients not seeking medical help on time.
"We need to start addressing the stigma that has been created around this pandemic," a senior official from the Ministry told Daily Mirror.
"If we do not address this issue, we may have more cases in the society that may pose a threat to more people. So we need to stop stigmatizing and marginalizing people with the virus," the official added.
The Ministry further said that it was most necessary that people who develop symptoms at the early stage, get admitted immediately, as seeking treatment early would save lives and prevent a spread.
The Daily Mirror learns that the third patient who died from Maradana had sought treatment very late and was dead upon admission at the National Infectious Disease Hospital. 2000 people have been subjected to quarantine in Maradana after the patient was detected in order to stop a spread and detect further patients.
Presently, the spread of the virus in Sri Lanka is extremely limited and those who are testing positive are the family members and close associates of the victims. The country is still detecting only small numbers and if people who are infected get admitted on time, then Sri Lanka can prevent a community transmission of the disease.
The Ministry further said in order to get those infected to the hospitals early, an environment had to be created that they were not criminals and this virus was not a crime.
The Health Promotion Burea which is also in the forefront in fighting the pandemic in Sri Lanka has also urged people who have developed symptoms to seek medical attention immediately so that lives can be saved and a spread can be prevented.
The GMOA recently warned that Sri Lanka may soon advance into the next stage of the pandemic that is small group cluster transmissions.
So far 151 patients have tested positive for the virus in Sri Lanka, out of which 22 have recovered and been discharged.(Jamila Hushain)