Irresponsible behaviour could lead to lockdown: Hemantha Herath

  • Ministry of Health slams public conduct in certain areas
  • Responds to PCR test refusal by Omicron patient’s associates  



BY Buddhika Samaraweera

Claiming that people in certain areas are acting irresponsibly in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Health has stated that if it continues, the country would have to face a disastrous situation, including an islandwide lockdown.

Speaking at a media briefing held yesterday (5), Ministry of Health Communications Director, Public Health Services Deputy Director General, and Disaster Preparedness and Response Division Head Dr. Hemantha Herath said: “The irresponsible actions of the people exacerbate the Covid-19 pandemic. If they continue to do so, the people of the whole country would be in a disastrous situation.” 

Emphasising that the people’s support is vital to bring the pandemic under control, Dr. Herath said that if the people do not support the control of the spread of Covid-19, the country would even have to be locked down. He further said that if the country was to be closed down in that manner, the consequent economic decline would be huge.

He was responding to a question raised by the media regarding an incident where the close associates of an individual infected with the Covid-19 Omicron variant in the Chinakotuwa area in Beruwala had allegedly refused to undergo polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.

Speaking to the media on Monday (3), Dr. Herath said that there were reports of cases of Covid-19 Omicron variant infections in certain areas of the country these days, but that this did not mean that the said variant was prevalent only in such areas. There may be patients infected with the Omicron variant in all parts of the country, he noted.

Therefore, he added that everyone should try to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in any form. He further added: “Everyone should work to prevent the Covid-19 infection in any way, where it is very important for all to follow the Covid-19 health guidelines when performing daily activities.” 

According to the Epidemiology Unit, Sri Lanka, as of 10 a.m. yesterday, has recorded 15,055 Covid-19 deaths while the total number of infections stood at 588,929 of which a total of 561,412 patients have recovered.