- Govt. denies provincial medical officers and public health inspectors have privately raised objections to the figures
- Denies report compiled by ‘Alliance of Independent Professsionals’
- Denies information department officers have privately confessed to journalists that the figures released do not count to even 40 per cent of positive test results
- Denies that Kawasaki-like disease reported in Sri Lanka
- Denies there are two clusters
By JAMILA HUSAIN
The Health Ministry, yesterday rejected reports that it was downplaying the COVID-19 situation in the country and said the number of patients and deaths reported to date were accurate and that the figures were released for public scrutiny.
A report, claiming to be compiled by the ‘Alliance of Independent Professionals’, posted on social media websites recently, claimed that the number of COVID-19 patients released by the government were ‘grossly and deliberately under reported’ and that currently Sri Lanka had two active clusters and not one.
- Only the navy cluster remains active in Sri Lanka
Among its other allegations, the report said provincial medical officers and public health inspectors have privately raised objections to the figures disclosed on the grounds that some task force members and government information department officers have privately confessed to journalists that the figures released do not count to even 40 per cent of positive test results from what they call ‘mild COVID patients’.
However, Deputy Director General of Health Services, Dr. Paba Palihawadana rejected the allegations stating that all numbers of patients and deaths had been released to the public as soon as the details were received from the respective hospitals. She said only the navy cluster remained active in Sri Lanka while there was a rise in the number of cases among those repatriated from other countries but they were contained within the quarantine centres and that all other clusters had been successfully deactivated. “Allegations that we are downplaying the situation here is false. We do not have any other figures than what we receive from the units. We also ensure than the numbers are not duplicated,” Dr. Palihawadana said.
Commenting on the allegations that there was a sudden spike in the cases of a kawasaki-like disease among children in Sri Lanka, she said there was no such disease reported here as yet, linked to COVID-19. “There is no such cases reported by the clinicians. If we had any such cases it would have been very obvious. Currently we do not even have one single case of respiratory complication among children due to COVID-19 in any of the OPDs or hospital wards.
“These reports are all false,” she said. As of last evening, the number of COVID-19 positive patients had risen to over 1,200 with 10 deaths while 700 of them have recovered and discharged. A majority of the patients were receiving treatment at the IDH and Navy Hospital.