The Government discussed the requirement to gazette the existing rules and regulations aimed at preventing COVID-19 at a meeting chaired by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 prevention yesterday.
The President’s Media Division said the meeting was held at the Presidential Secretariat, following the tracing of COVID-19 positive persons in several areas in the Gampaha district.
President Rajapaksa instructed relevant parties to take immediate measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 following the identification of close associates of the affected and to increase the number of PCR tests.
The PMD said close associates of the infected have already been identified.
They have been subjected to self-quarantine in their homes. President has advised to send them to the closest hotels to undergo the quarantine process.
The PMD said the doctors were of the view that the failure on the part of the people with the passage of time to follow health guidelines issued by the Government is the main reason to the sudden spike in the number of affected.
“COVID-19 pathogen is rapidly raging across the globe. Despite reporting the global scenario, the awareness campaign carried out in the country to educate the public was missed by the country’s mass media. People also have forgotten the prevalence of the disease,” President Rajapaksa said.
He said instructions have been issued to carry out random PCR tests in every district in the country as well in institutions.
“Especially, organizations, where a large number of people are employed, have been asked to conduct tests. However, it does appear that factories with large workforces have neglected this responsibility,” the President added.
The general public and the media are obliged to assist the initiatives to control the spread of the pandemic with a clear understanding of the current situation. President also said that a thorough investigation should be carried out into the presence of COVID infected from the community after a lapse of two months.
Paying tribute to the great efforts by the Police and the Public Health Officers, the President emphasized the importance of carrying out the programme at village level.
Steps have already been taken to prevent people from leaving areas where infected patients were identified. Other factories and institutions in the area will be randomly checked.
The President also pointed out the need to conduct random inspections at workplaces with the participation of the private sector.
The Police said that many precautions that had been identified as measures to be taken to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 were not properly followed by the public.
Meanwhile, the PMD requested the public not to fall prey to false news circulating on social media sites saying that an island-wide curfew will be imposed today.