Independence Day parade: Defence forces in Colombo despite instructions 

Around 250 civil defence forces personnel had come to Colombo for the Independence Day parade from the Mihintale Civil Defence Training School, despite the health authorities’ instructions against doing so, The Morning learnt.

An officer attached to the Mihintale Medical Officer of Health (MOH) office told The Morning that civil defence forces personnel from many parts of the island, such as Polonnaruwa, Kantale, Colombo, Matale, and Kandy, had come to the training school to train for the Independence Day parade.

A Covid-19 outbreak emerged among them, the officer of the MOH office stated, adding that 17 Covid-19 cases had been identified in the training school. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests conducted had revealed that two persons had contracted Covid-19, after which they were instructed to quarantine. Rapid antigen tests conducted later had confirmed seven more Covid-19 cases.

The MOH further said that many of them had shown symptoms of Covid-19, and taking this situation into account, instructions were issued against sending them for the Independence Day parade. However, despite instructions, a large number of them had left for Colombo.