Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday that there was no need to get unnecessarily scared or panic about the spread of Covid-19 in Sri Lanka as things were under control.
Speaking to Newspaper Editors and Media Heads at Temple Trees yesterday, Prime Minister Rajapaksa said there was no need for any Lockdown of the country.
He quipped that some politicians were saying various things as it was an election time and that was how it is in politics.
Joining the discussion, Director General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe said there is no social transmission of Covid-19 in Sri Lanka at the moment as they have traced all linked to the cluster at Kandakadu rehabilitation and treatment centre.
Dr. Jasinghe said that there were various stories that were being spread which are not true.
He said of the cluster at Kandakadu only 25 persons were found positive among those who had gone out or family members connected to them.
He said as an average there were 20 persons in contact with them and all those had been directed for quarantine. He stressed that being quarantined does not mean that they are infected and it was only a precautionary measure while PCR test were also being conducted on them.
He said that only Rajanganaya area was imposed a lockdown as there were indications it could spread. He further stated that they were conducting around 1,400 PCR tests per day and it was done with a basis as the need requires.
He said there was no need to compare Sri Lanka with South Korea or US as the conditions were different in these countries where there is no public health mechanism as here. He said therefore it was no needed to conduct PCR tests on the road in Sri Lanka.
Dr. Jasinghe said that all Covid-19 patients were in good physical and mental condition and no one was serious. He said due to the story that was spreading that two were in bad condition, he had called the Director of the Pollonnaruwa hospital and inquired and found that all were in good condition.
Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva joining the discussion said that all those who were connected to the Kandakadu cluster had been quarantined.
When asked about how it had spread at the Kandakadu Rehabilitation and Treatment Centre, he said they suspect it would have come from an infected person who was an drug addict coming from either Suduwella or Colombo that had undergone treatment and later transferred for rehabilitation.
He said that after some of the Covid-19 infected persons who were drug addicts had recovered they obtained a court order to transfer them for rehabilitation from the drug addiction.
He said that they were transferred after conducting PCR tests. On some he said they were able to conduct 2 PCR test while on some they could conduct only one PCR test. He said any person who was not fully recovered could have passed on due to this reason.
President of the GMOA Dr. Anurudda Padeniya also explained the extensive measures needed to manage the situation and praised the contact tracing process using a wide range of expertise outside the traditional medical process.
However, he stated their organization was of the view that around 4,000 PCR tests had to be conducted daily in Sri Lanka although the Director General Of Health Services disagrees with them on the matter.