Colombo, April 1 – Sri Lanka’s Health Ministry, Military and Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) have appealed to the public to co-operate in coming forward if anyone has developed the COVID-19 virus while the rest were urged to remain indoors as the GMOA warned the country now faced the danger of advancing into the next stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, the local Daily Mirror reported here Wednesday.
The military said that while an alarming 20 cases was detected yesterday, the government and authorities had done their best to contain a spread, but public co-operation was needed.
The Daily Mirror learns that security has been beefed to the maximum in the high risk areas – Colombo, Jaffna, Puttalam, Gampaha, Kalutara and Kandy – as isolated cases were being detected while a curfew is going to remain their indefinitely. Strict legal action will be taken against anyone defying the curfew.
The Health Ministry said that a majority of the 20 cases detected yesterday was the family members of the confirmed patients and only 2 or 3, including the couple who was detected in Colombo 6, were new cases as they had either returned from overseas or had associated with confirmed patients.
The Ministry said that Sri Lanka was presently in Stage 3 (a) of the virus, that is ‘home cluster transmissions’ while the GMOA warned that the upward trend may lead to the danger of Sri Lanka advancing into Stage 3 (b), that is ‘small group cluster transmissions’.
“This is why we must all co-operate and ensure that we are able to get rid of this virus spread soon. A curfew cannot be in place indefinitely so the sooner we get rid of this danger the better, and the only way now is to come forward if you have developed the symptoms and the rest should remain indoors,” an authoritative source at the GMOA said.
The GMOA also said it had written to the health minister, expressing concerns that recent cases of confirmed patients who had lied and sought treatment at private hospitals, had gravely put the lives of medical officers in these hospitals at risk and if Sri Lanka advanced into the next stage, more medical assistance would be needed.
“Presently a few cases have led to a large number of staff from private hospitals going under quarantine. This will lead to an issue as Sri Lanka is heading to its peak and we need to be ready with all our resources and medical officers. If not we will face a major issue,” the GMOA source said.
Following the 20 new cases detected yesterday Sri Lanka now has 142 confirmed COVID-19 patients out of which 17 have recovered.