Public urged to take second booster shot

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With 62 new Covid-19 patients detected by yesterday (18), Deputy Director General of Health Services (DDGHS) Dr. Hemantha Herath urged the public to immediately take the second booster shot (fourth dose) of the Covid -19 vaccine.

Dr. Herath said with 62 new Covid cases being detected by yesterday (18), the public should be more cautious and not wait for another severe outbreak of the infection. “Also don’t wait for the health authorities to force you into taking the second booster shot or the fourth dose,” he said. 

In addition, people should maintain health safety measures by wearing the mask, maintaining hand hygiene and sneezing etiquette, he advised and added that there was a very poor response for the health Ministry’s call to the public to obtain the second booster. There were a few over 13,000 who have till now taken the second booster shot he lamented. 

Meanwhile, the Public Health Inspectors Union of Sri Lanka (PHIUSL) also lamented that with the current spread of the Covid infection in several countries, there was very little monitoring being done locally at the ports of entry. 

President of PHIUSL Upul Rohana expressed grave concern that with the spread of the Omicron lineage in several countries, very little assessment had been carried out to ascertain whether such cases had arrived in Sri Lanka.

He said there had been several cases with suspect symptoms that had been detected locally and called health authorities to pay close attention to the situation. 

However, Dr. Hemantha Herath noted that it was not practical to carry out monitoring tests at the ports of entry to the country.

“It is not a technically accepted method,” he said, pointing out that a patient arriving may be in the incubation period and will not be detected during the test.”

By Dilanthi Jayamanne