Sri Lanka ready to fight Omicron threat – Health Authorities
Sri Lanka has an accurate understanding regarding the spread of the new Omicron variant and health officials assure that laboratory facilities are available to identify the virus through genetic analysis if it enters the country.
These views were expressed at a media briefing organised by the Presidential Media Centre, yesterday (2) under the theme, “The country is ready to eliminate Omicron variant.”
The media briefing was attended by Professor Neelika Malavige, the Head of the Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine – University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Dr. H.S. Munasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Health, Dr. Chandima Jeewandara, Director Allergy Immunology and Cell Biology Unit, Faculty of Medical Sciences – University of Sri Jayewardenepura and Dr. Hemantha Herath, Deputy Director General of Health Services. President’s Spokesman Kingsley Rathnayake moderated the Press Conference.
“Omicron may spread faster than the other four Coronavirus strains that have existed so far, and a person can be infected even after recovering from COVID-19,” said Professor Malavige. She pointed out that within the next two to three weeks it will be possible to get a clear idea of the behaviour of the Omicron variant, adding that if immunity is high, there is no need to fear mutant variants. The Omicron variant has been found in 24 countries around the world and the global health sectors are paying special attention to it.
Dr. Munasinghe said due to the immense commitment and intervention of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the country has improved its position in the world in terms of controlling the COVID-19 pandemic and added that the support of the people is essential to control the new COVID variant and it is the responsibility of all to follow proper health recommendations and support these measures.
Dr. Jeewandara stressed the need for those who have not yet been vaccinated to be vaccinated immediately, saying that there is no need to panic over the Omicron variant as the booster dose increases immunity. He also stressed the importance of adherence to public health regulations and the importance of maintaining immunity by following health recommendations rather than fearing the virus.
Dr. Herath said the Government’s on-going crackdown of COVID-19 has been successful and that the public should restrict movements during the festive season.