Health Ministry functioning normally – Dr. Herath
By Dilanthi Jayamanne
Deputy Director General (Public Health), Dr. Palitha Herath, reassured the public that the Health Ministry is prepared to provide normal services, despite the recent drawback, where 10 employees tested positive to COVID-19.
Dr. Herath said yesterday (20) that seven were from one unit, while the remaining COVID-19 positive patients belonged to three other units.
“The Ministry would continue with its routine services. Only the Examinations Unit of the Ministry has been affected and measures have been taken to postpone examinations as a result,” he said.
Dr. Herath said several COVID-19 infected patients of a particular unit of the Health Ministry had been sent home. However, the situation was reported on the next day to the health authorities. Those who were infected remained in their homes and Rapid Antigen Tests were conducted on the others who reported for duty. He said four tested positive on the first day, which was Monday (18).
Health Ministry specialists conducted more contact tracing and these individuals were quarantined. This is not the first time that COVID-19 patients have been detected at the Health Ministry. Earlier, patients were identified in various units of the Ministry and were handled with discretion.
He said the Unit which had the highest number of cases had been closed temporarily, while the remaining three units have resumed services.
Dr. Herath also said all preparations were being made to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine with the guidance of the Health Minister, Advisor to the President, Lalith Weeratunga, and the State Minister. Vaccinations will be given according to priority and arrangements have been made to train health workers to vaccinate the public.