1,500-1,800 tests done daily: Over 25,000 PCR tests so far

 Over 25,000 PCR tests so far
By Agra Ranasinghe

Sri Lanka has so far conducted around 25,000 PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests in total, to detect those infected with Covid-19, and the number of tests done daily are being increased to around 1,500-1,800, The Morning learnt.

Ministry of Health (MoH) Public Health Services Deputy Director General Dr. Paba Palihawadana told The Morning that the increased number of tests, which is now 1,500-1,800, done daily would be more than enough to control the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
Dr. Palihawadana also stated that around 25,000 tests have been conducted so far.

However, Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) representative Dr. Samantha Ananda explained that if the health authorities are conducting 1,500-1,800 PCR tests, it could be considered a reasonable number to control the virus if it could in fact ensure the testing of all people in the quarantine centres and also people under home quarantine who are highly suspected of having contracted the virus.

This number is better than the low number of tests conducted before, he shared.

“It’s very important from an epidemiological point of view, to understand the extent of the spread of the disease. It’s good that the number of tests has been increased, but it should cover the needed areas if we really want to control the spread of the disease.”

Additionally, Dr. Ananda said that the recent identification of clusters, such as that of Navy personnel and those from Bandaranayake Mawatha, would help prevent community spread of the pandemic.

Since the number of tests has been increased, the pandemic can be controlled with more confidence, and the health authorities should ensure that testing is done continuously. People have to follow the instructions of the health authorities as community distancing should be maintained as much as possible, said Dr. Ananda.