All gatherings banned in Batticaloa
By M Poomarathadi. .A.P. Deen – Ampara
All tuition classes, liquor shops, gatherings in hotels, and get-togethers are banned in Batticaloa and anybody who violates health guidelines will be prosecuted, Batticaloa Government Agent K. Karunagaran said.
He was speaking at the Batticaloa District COVID-19 Prevention Task Force Meeting held at the District Secretariat on 8 May. Colonel V.M.N. Hettiarachchi, Regional Director of Health Services Dr. N. Mayooran, Consultant Physician Dr. S. Sunderasan, Additional Government Agent Sudarshini Srikanth, Assistant Government Agent A. Naveswaran, Divisional Secretaries U. Uthayasrithar, V. Vasudevan and Batticaloa Zonal Director of Education K. Sujatha were present at the meeting.
Referring to the latest circular from the Ministry of Health, he pointed out health guideline violations are on the rise, despite strict warnings. Health authorities and the Police are observing people’s gatherings in the town and students in tuition classes.
Necessary action will be taken under the quarantine law against those who violate these guidelines, he added. Director of Batticaloa Teaching Hospital, Dr. K. Kalaranjani, said 4-5 oxygen cylinders were needed for the hospital earlier, but after the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, about 15-16 cylinders are needed. The Director said 19 COVID-19 patients have been admitted to the Batticaloa Teaching Hospital and five of them are on oxygen. At the moment, Periya Kallar, Karadiyanaru and Kattankudy Hospitals treat COVID-19 patients.
However, when there is a spike in cases, they need to be sent elsewhere, Dr. Kalaranjani said. The Head of the Task Force replied that they are aware of this problem and steps will be taken to solve it. Announcements have been made to the public that they should not gather unnecessarily, religious places must limit the number of devotees to 50 on one occasion and only 25 persons can attend a funeral.
Also, it has been advised that people suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure should not leave their houses. The latest COVID-19 variant targets children, therefore they too must be protected. If we follow the proper health guidelines, there will be no need to impose a lockdown in the area, he said.