DGHS Weighs Reinstating Mask Mandate

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The Health Ministry will be forced to make wearing of facemasks in public compulsory, if a new variant of the Omicron virus were to spread in the country once more, Director General of Health Services (DGHS) Dr. Asela Gunawardena said.

He added currently what has been enforced here is not a total lifting of the wearing of facemasks in public and only partial lifting, which was made compulsory during the rapid spread of the pandemic.

Dr. Gunawardene stated that as a result those wanting to still wear facemasks in public could continue to do so and that those not wishing to do so also could continue.

But, he warned if the spread of the virus were to escalate then they would have no other option but to make the wearing of facemasks in public mandatory.

He added that to avoid contracting the new strain of the Omicron virus he urged the masses to obtain the fourth dose of vaccines recommended by health experts from the nearest vaccination centre.

Head of the Epidemiology Unit attached to the Health Ministry, Dr. Samitha Ginige, stated that the Covid-19 pandemic has still not abated globally. He said according to data collated by them the number infected by the new Omicron variant has shown signs of increasing from a global perspective.