All apparel employees to be screened by PCR or Antigen tests
- 65,000 more overseas Sri Lankans expecting to return
By Darshana Sanjeewa Balasuriya
Steps are to be taken to change the prevailing quarantine process after technical evaluation with medical specialists, it was revealed at the National Operation Centre for Prevention of the COVID - 19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) Task Force meeting.
The meeting was held on Tuesday with the participation of State Minister of Primary Health Services, Control of Epidemics and COVID - 19 Sudarshani Fernandopulle, Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva and Director General of Health Services Dr. Asela Gunawardena.
Lieutenant General Silva briefed the task force members about the isolation strategy adopted by the government striking a balance between preventing contamination of the COVID - 19 virus and functioning of socio-economic activities in the country. Explaining the progress of lifting the isolation status of the housing scheme or flats, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva said that 10 flats have already been released from the isolation process.
“Rapid Antigen tests and PCR tests are being conducted for one member of each family. All the members of the family had to be subject to COVID - 19 tests if and when any family member was detected as positive during the initial screening,” the meeting was told. This process has been adopted in 10 flats which were released from isolations up to Tuesday and tests at the remaining two flats were to be held yesterday.
The Commander said that isolation strategies currently are enforced to focus on isolating the smallest units in the society. “Except in the Colombo district, isolation of areas have been restricted to Grama Niladhari Divisions. In the Colombo district, particularly in the CMC area, there still are nine police areas that have been kept under isolation, considering the level of contamination by COVID - 19,” he said.
Meanwhile, the meeting was told that PCR and Rapid Antigen tests are conducted on a daily basis in BOI enterprises to screen the employees for possible contaminations.
The test protocol introduced by the Health Authorities shows that 1% of the employees are to be subjected for PCR tests daily, or, 5% of the workforce to undergo PCR tests weekly. It was revealed that Rapid Antigen tests are optional, and that five private sector hospitals are conducting these tests.