In discussion with the Principal Advisor to the President Lalith Weeratunga on key concerns regarding the COVID-19 epidemy, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa explained the steps taken when a person tests positive for COVID-19 virus.
At the moment, we have minimized this virus from spreading in the country, noted President.
This is possible because from the beginning, Sri Lanka had a proper mechanism to collect the information needed to stop the infection from spreading from each patient.
When someone shows symptoms of COVID-19, that person is sent to the Infectious Disease Hospital in Angoda and for a PCR examination, which is the best in the world. If the results are positive for the virus, the origin and source the person got infected is investigated.
Every person that patient closely associated, casually met and places visited are identified. Then, the people who associated those who came in contact with the patient are identified. This method of identifying the first and second rings of contacts is known as “contact tracing”. The group of people thus identified to have associated the infected person is known as a “cluster”.
By identifying the clusters well in advance has enabled Sri Lanka to quarantine people before the symptoms develop. Analysts have acknowledged in even international forums that Sri Lanka’s success in managing the crisis is because of the contact tracing carried methodically by the intelligence units of the country.
That person’s immediate family members and people who closely associated with the patient are quarantined. Those who did not associated the patient directly will be subjected to self-quarantine. Public Health Officers and Police Officers regularly monitor those under self quarantine.
If there is a possibility that a larger group of people had got compromised and are in danger of getting infected, then that entire area will be isolated. Most cases currently being reported are from such groups.
It is clear that some carriers had entered the country before the quarantine program began. There had also been cases from countries like Indonesia where carriers had not been anticipated. They were identified as COVID-19 patients only after the symptoms appeared.
(Source: Daily News)