The Public Health Inspectors Union yesterday warned that if PCR and random antigen testing is not increased to at least 10,000 a day, Sri Lanka's COVID-19 situation may lead to a disaster similar to what India is facing now.
PHI Union Secretary Mahesh Balasuriya told the Daily Mirror that health guidelines had been ignored during the past weeks leading to the New Year festivities and since border restrictions were not imposed in the vulnerable districts, they could expect its repercussions within the next 14 days.
He said presently an estimated 5000 PCR/Antigen tests were being conducted islandwide, but that needed to be urgently increased to at least 10,000 per day. He said some of the vulnerable districts were Kurunegala, Puttalam, Gampaha, Colombo, Trincomalee and Jaffna as a larger number of patients had been detected from these areas in recent weeks.
"From May 1 we feel if more PCR and antigen tests are conducted, there will be a larger number of patients that will be reported. If we do not take precautions and conduct tests, then what is happening in India will also happen here," Balasuriya said.
The Secretary further urged people to practice all health guidelines including wearing of face masks and maintaining social distance, stating that the COVID-19 was far from over.
"Presently some other topics have taken center stage. But we remind people the virus is far from over and all precautions need to be taken to avoid any disaster," he said. (JAMILA HUSAIN)