- Direct General of Health Services asked to work out guidelines
- Plan for attraction of 200,000 tourists during last two months of the year
By Kelum Bandara
The health authorities were instructed yesterday to work out guidelines to lift Covid curbs on October 1 onwards in measured steps, Daily Mirror learns. The Covid task force had its meeting yesterday and took stock of the situation. Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa chaired it since President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was away from the country to attend the UN General Assembly summit in New York.
At the meeting, Director General of Health Services Dr. Asela Gunawardane was instructed to evolve fresh guidelines for the removal of Covid restrictions and opening the country in measured, incremental steps.
The government imposed a quarantine curfew on August 21 to contain the spread of Covid-19 and to reduce fatalities.
The daily caseload shot up to over 4,000 at times at the height of the third wave. Sri Lanka even recorded fatalities over 250 a day at the peak of the pandemic. Currently, the caseload has averaged at 1,300 - 1,400 a day, and fatalities at less than 100. At the meeting yesterday, Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga was instructed to present a work plan for the attraction of at least 200,000 tourists during the last two months of the year.
Asked about the Covid situation, Deputy Director General of Health Services Dr. Hemantha Herath said it was too early to say something definitive.
“We witnessed a downward trend in the curve. Again, the curve has flattened during the last three days. There were more than 1,300 cases each of these three days. Before that, we noticed the daily numbers getting reduced by 250 or more cases,” he said. Dr. Herath reiterated the need for following public and social health measures despite vaccination.
“Vaccination protects you against severe disease. However, vaccines cannot prevent infections completely. It is like riding a bike wearing a helmet. When you wear a helmet, you are safe from a head injury in an accident. Wearing a helmet does not mean prevention of accidents, though,” he said.
- Dr. Hemantha Herath said it was too early to say something definitive
- Dr. Herath reiterated the need for following public and social health measures despite vaccination