COVID-19 ‘Slightly Out of Control’ – President of PHIA

Upul Rohana - PHI - Public Health Inspector's Union of Sri Lanka

President of the Public Health Inspectors’ Association of Sri Lanka (PHIA), Upul Rohana, said the spread of COVID-19 in the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) area was ‘slightly out of control.’ Rohana said a large number of patients with the virus had been reported from Grandpass, Maradana, and Mattakkuliya. “It is becoming extremely difficult to find out details regarding the places they had visited and their close contacts, due to the increasing number of infections,” he said.

He lamented that prevention and control would slip through the fingers of the PHIs, if the present situation within the CMC limits worsened.

Sri Lanka experienced the highest number of COVID-19 deaths yesterday (27), when three deaths were reported, bringing the total to 19.

The National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 (NOCPCO), said by late afternoon two COVID-19 deaths had been reported, an 87-year-old woman from Wekanda, Slave Island and a 19-year-old from Keselwatta.

The National Hospital noted that the deaths had occurred at the time of admission. The deceased had tested positive, after PCR tests were conducted on them.

Earlier in the day, the Health Ministry reported the death of a 41-year-old man from Ja-Ela, who was receiving treatment for COVID-19 at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID). The man was reported to have been suffering from cirrhosis, it noted.

Chief of the Colombo Municipal Council Public Health Department (CMCPHD), Dr.Ruwan Wijayamuni, brushed aside allegations that the COVID-19 situation in the CMC area was somewhat out of control.

Dr. Wijayamuni noted that up to October this year, the city had seen 134 COVID-19 patients, while another 62 had been added with the Brandix cluster at its Minuwangoda facility and one at the Colombo Dockyard on 18 October 2020. However, 337 were added with the detection of COVID-19 patients at the Peliyagoda Fish Market last Wednesday (21).

He lamented that within nine days, the numbers had escalated by another 632, with rigorous tracing and PCR tests conducted on first-level contacts of those identified before in Peliyagoda.

He noted that all patients had been transferred to hospitals, with measures taken to quarantine their contacts.

Responding to questions regarding the areas in the city which were under quarantine, he said they included, Maradana, Mattakkuliya, Fort, Pettah, Bloemendhal, Borella, Welikada, Dam Street, Foreshore Police area and Wolfendhal Street.

The Hatton, Kotagala Town in Hatton was isolated following the increasing number of COVID-19 patients, Head of NOCPCO, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva said. Silva said the decision had been taken, as the number of patients had increased to 10 by yesterday (27) morning, and that a decision had been taken to isolate the town area, to prevent further spread.

On Sunday (25), two persons from Kotagala, Hatton working at the Peliyagoda Fish Market were diagnosed with the virus. One of the persons is said to have travelled by bus from the Pettah Bus Stand to Hatton.

The CMC has done random PCR tests in the CMC areas and found 1,087 positive patients.

Meanwhile, quarantine curfew was imposed in Panadura, Moratuwa and Homagama from last night.

(Source: Ceylon Today – By Dilanthi Jayamanne and Kumudu Jayawardana)