News

Covid-19: Significant increase in cases

 

  • People behaving negligently, irresponsibly: DDGH
  • Rise in patient numbers in the last two weeks

 

By Ruwani Fonseka

Health authorities once again urged the public to adhere to health regulations and limit travel, as a significant increase in the number of persons testing positive for Covid-19 was reported. 

Speaking to The Sunday Morning, Health Services Deputy Director General Dr. Hemantha Herath stated that a significant increase in the rate of infections had been reported in some parts of the island.

“Despite repeatedly telling people to be careful and adhere to the guidelines, people are still very negligent and irresponsible. We have observed that even health professionals were not practicing the basics of wearing a mask in some situations. We have seen a significant rise in Covid-19-positive patients within the last two weeks; in the last few days we saw a big surge in patients as well,” said Dr. Herath.

The Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) last week stated that there was a 12% increase in Covid-positive patients and a 9% increase in Covid-related deaths within the previous week alone, raising concerns that another Covid wave was imminent.

When inquired about the number of patients reported in Sri Lanka, and whether the figures were accurate, Dr. Herath responded: “I cannot personally guarantee that the numbers are accurate, but all laboratories and hospitals are supposed to immediately inform the Epidemiology Department as soon as a patient tests positive. We have had cases where some labs have been negligent and not informed the Epidemiology Department, and those labs were shut down.

“On average, the number of patients, as far as I know, is correct. If anyone is claiming that the numbers are not being recorded properly and have proof to that effect, they are welcome to show those documents and bring it up with the relevant people, not just make baseless accusations,” stated Dr. Herath. 

However, Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge, responding to a query by The Sunday Morning, charged that the figures presented by the Epidemiology Department were incorrect.

“The numbers are wrong. The Government used to reveal the number of patients from each area and district before, but now that is not done. The GMOA has documents which can prove that the actual numbers from each area and the total figures are not what the Government is showing,” Dr. Aluthge alleged.