Possible COVID surge during holidays: Educating public feasible option – Dr.Herath
By Dilanthi Jayamanne
With appeals from the Public Health Inspectors Union Sri Lanka (PHIUSL) to impose travel restrictions this festive season owing to public behaviour, the Health Ministry noted that it needs to create awareness and educate the people rather than put more restrictions.
Deputy Director General Disaster Management and Emergency Response (DDG), Dr.Hemantha Herath on Tuesday (30) urged the public to refrain from propelling the country into such a situation. With the current threat posed by the highly mutated Omicron variant which has already been detected in over ten countries including Denmark, Germany, Italy, Israel and Hong Kong, not only is it necessary to keep the particular mutation from entering the country, it is also important to ensure that public movement and activity do not cause another COVID-19 wave.
Currently the number of patients is stabilised with the total number of daily cases reaching a maximum of 700. The daily COVID death toll too fluctuated between 20 and 25.
He said although the Health Ministry was not keen on imposing travel restrictions during the festive season, it is trying to prevent a possible outbreak by educating the public. But everything depends on the public and the behaviour patterns during December could push health authorities to reconsider the current relaxed restrictions, he said.