The Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) today warned that the country is heading towards the first phase of the COVID-19 fourth wave outbreak, SLMA President Dr. Padma Gunaratne said.
Addressing the media, she said there is an imminent threat of a fourth wave outbreak and warned the general public of this.
She said, despite the travel restrictions, there was no significant decline in the number of COVID positive cases.
"The travel restrictions were imposed on May 20. At that time, we could see a decline in the number of COVID positive patients that we could control because we expected it. But as we have all seen, there has never been a huge drop in the number of patients,” she said.
“I think the shortcomings in our imposed travel boundaries contributed to the reduction in the number of patients. But considering the information received from the hospital network, it is clear that the country is heading towards its fourth wave of the COVID outbreak,” she said.
“Now we are controlling the patients and the virus while counting on the assurance of the vaccines. After getting the vaccines, we cannot think of moving forward in the country with our social activities as before the start of the pandemic. Having such thoughts is a myth,” Dr. Gunaratne said.
She said the COVID delta variant has already entered the country. At the time we imposed travel restrictions, the virus was not a threat to the country, she said.
“The variant has spread to more than 50% of the people already and it is not suspicious that it will be the main variant in the country,” Dr. Gunaratne added. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)