Covid-19 threat not over in SL: PHIs

Adherence to health guidelines low among public
Govt. urged to take policy decisions to assist authorities

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

With the number of Covid-19-positive cases rising in India, Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) warned that the coronavirus threat in Sri Lanka was not yet over and therefore urged the public to strictly adhere to health guidelines issued by the authorities.

PHIs’ Union of Sri Lanka (PHIUSL) President Upul Rohana said adherence to the health guidelines among the public was currently at its lowest, and around 60% of society had returned to going about their activities as usual, i.e. how things were before March.

“When there is a looming coronavirus threat, the public shouldn’t act the way they usually act, and it is a must to follow all the necessary health guidelines,” he stressed.

Highlighting the necessity to gazette all health guidelines under the Quarantine and Prevention of Diseases Act, PHIUSL President Rohana stressed that unless the guidelines were gazetted, it would not be followed properly.

“The country’s airport will reopen after some time and if it operates as usual, with 40,000 people entering the country per day, conducting PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests for each and every one would be impossible, and that is why these guidelines should be gazetted,” he stressed.

Explaining further, he said: “The situation in India is not good and the incidents of illegal activities; bringing down illegal drugs and exchanging fish in the middle of the sea with Indians are still being conducted. Though there is no social transmission at present, if somebody comes into contact with a Covid-19-positive person while engaging in these kinds of illegal activities, that person might bring down the virus and it will spread in society.”

Therefore, the public should strictly adhere to the health guidelines and the Government should take the necessary policy decisions to help the authorities conduct their duties, Rohana added.