Despite it being announced earlier today that the Random Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) would be conducted at all entry and exit points from and to the Western Province on individuals, health officials were not present at some points, although police officers were present.
It was reported that the health officials were reluctant to report to the points as they had not been properly informed of this and citing that they lack ambulance facilities and find it difficult to take any individual, who might test positive for the virus to hospitals.
Accordingly, health officials were not present at the points such as Thoppuwa Bridge in Kochchikade, Helagalla Junction in Nittambuwa and Wahagoda Bridge in Hanwella.
The RATs were conducted 12 entry and exit points from and to the Western Province on individuals from 12.00 noon today until further notice.
When Daily Mirror contacted Deputy Director-General of Health Services Dr S.M. Arnold, he said it was done by the Western Province health directors.
When contacted Secretary of the Department of Health, Western Province Gamini Dharmasena, he said he was not aware whether the health officials were not present at some exit points but said the bed capacity in all the hospitals designated to treat COVID-19 patients in the Western Province is full.
Commenting on the reports that health officials were reluctant to report to the points, he said since the bed capacity is full, it would be difficult for the MOH officers to decide on where positive patients are admitted if any person is found to have contracted the virus during RATs. (Sheain Fernandopulle)
Pix by Nimalsiri Edirisinghe