Army Chief, Lt. General Shavendra Silva yesterday ruled out that a community spread of COVID-19 had begun following an increase in the number of COVID-19 patients detected from many areas of the country in recent days.
Silva told the Daily Mirror that what Sri Lanka was experiencing was not a community spread as all patients identified in recent days were linked to the Minuwangoda cluster. He said no isolated case had been brought to the notice of the authorities as yet.
"This has still not gone to the community as all are being detected from the Minuwangoda cluster. A community spread usually starts without a source, or a beginning and this is not the case here. So far all we have got are interconnected to this cluster. There is not a single patient who has come without a source. This is one cluster running," Silva said.
He said with a few patients detected in Colombo in recent days, people were urged to be cautious as a major damage could occur if people do not practice all the health guidelines strictly. He further said with the COVID-19, no place was safe if the health guidelines were ignored by the public.
Meanwhile, Chief Medical Officer of Health from the Colombo Municipal Council, Dr. R. Wijayamuni said that 200 random PCR tests were conducted on the workers at the Fort Railway station yesterday to find out if a community spread of the virus had begun. He said while all patients reported so far had some connection to the Minuwangoda cluster, random tests were also being conducted among the public to find out of a possible community spread which had not been reported to date.
The Police have in the meantime, advised the public and three-wheel drivers to maintain a log to help health officials trace contacts in the event someone contracts the coronavirus.
Police spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana said that one of the issues which arose during investigations into the spread of the coronavirus in Minuwangoda was tracing close contacts of the patients.
He said that while the employees of the Brandix facility in Minuwangoda had either been admitted to hospital or quarantined, all of their close contacts have not yet been identified.
"At this time where we are facing a situation with the coronavirus we are requesting the drivers of vehicles operating with passengers on hire to have their own system in place to know who got in, when and where and where they got off,” he said.
DIG Ajith Rohana also requested the public to have a log of their daily movements either on their smart phone or a notebook if there is a need for information on the close contacts of an individual if that person tests positive for the coronavirus. (JAMILA HUSAIN)