Covid-19 control severely challenged – PHIUSL

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Covid-19 control in Sri Lanka has been severely challenged by the fuel shortage and economic crisis, prompting the risk of another Covid wave, Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) warned.

President of the Public Health Inspectors’ Union of Sri Lanka (PHIUSL), Upul Rohana said, there were difficulties in testing suspected Covid-19 cases due to a shortage of antigen kits in Medical Officer of Health (MOH) areas. There is a build-up of Covid-19 cases in several countries including India, Vietnam, and Europe. But at present, Sri Lanka is unable to test suspected cases that have been detected in all parts of the country due to the lack of antigen testing kits.

“We have not seen the last of the Coronavirus. Sri Lanka is quite likely to see an outbreak of Covid-19 cases within the next two weeks,” he lamented.

“The situation would worsen as control work is severely compromised by the fuel and economic crises facing the country. Immunity has been compromised, those suffering from comorbidities and the elderly are highly vulnerable,” the PHIUSL President said.

“The health service would be in a dilemma with the economic crisis leading to drug shortages and fuel issues to provide even proper ambulance services for patients with severe symptoms of the viral infection,” he said.

The public could assist by adhering to strict health guidelines while queuing for gas and fuel and while using crowded public transport services, Rohana said.

He also urged the public to take the booster doses of the Covid vaccine as early as possible in a bid to control and prevent another wave. 

By Dilanthi Jayamanne