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Health guidelines alone can’t stop spread via large gatherings: Hemantha Herath

a year ago

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  • Health Ministry notes new infections from unanticipated areas
By Buddhika Samaraweera Even if people are adhering to the Covid-19 pandemic-related health guidelines, it will not be possible to control the spread of infection if they gather in large numbers, the Health Ministry said. Addressing a media briefing held yesterday (3), the Health Ministry’s Communications Director, Public Health Services Deputy Director General (DDG), and the Disaster Preparedness and Response Division Head Dr. Hemantha Herath said: “Even though the people are adhering to the health guidelines, it is not possible to control the spread of Covid-19 if there are large gatherings.” Further claiming that the adverse results of such activities cannot be seen instantly, he said that it would take a few weeks to see the results of such. Dr. Herath also said that Covid-19 infections are now being reported in some areas as had not been anticipated by the health sector. Pointing out that the travel restrictions imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation were lifted in order to carry out essential social and economic activities, he said however that with the removal of these restrictions, there could be a serious situation if the people act in a way that the disease will spread again. “There should be no deviation from the health guidelines in any way,” he noted. The Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) also recently highlighted the importance of avoiding large gatherings in order to control the pandemic. “People should be very careful when attending large gatherings. By now, the health authorities have recommended the number of participants that can attend events such as weddings and funerals. Therefore, it is very important to act on such advice,” the SLMA President Dr. Padma Gunaratne mentioned. Further pointing out that the number of Covid-19 infections and deaths has increased significantly in the last week as compared to the previous week, she stated that the people should 100% act in accordance with the Covid-19-related health guidelines. “Last week, 5,002 Covid-19 patients were reported and it is an increase by 12.2% compared to the previous week. In addition, 132 Covid-19 deaths were reported last week, which is 9% higher than the previous week. Therefore, people should adhere to the health guidelines 100%.” According to the Sri Lanka Epidemiology Unit, as of 11.30 p.m. on 2 November there were 13,770 Covid-19 deaths reported, while the total number of infections stood at 542,212, of which a total of 513,540 patients have recovered.