Taking a Rational Look at COVID-19 Third Wave
By a Special Correspondent
The world is now in the grip of the third wave of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic. This is the same in Sri Lanka too. While the Government is battling to safeguard its citizens against this debilitating illness, some unscrupulous elements are attempting to rip off unsuspecting people, who rush to get themselves tested, in fear that they had come into contact with the virus. At present, the laboratories of this country have the capacity to carry out 15,000 PCR tests daily.
However, due to such tests being conducted daily, exceeding the limit, there is the possibility of test results getting delayed from being released the following day. It is no secret that certain results tend to get delayed for days on end. The reason for this is contamination of test results at certain laboratories, exceeding the limit that it could cater to. A complete rip-off Taking this factor into consideration, the Government allowed certain private hospitals to carry out PCR tests, subject to certain conditions.
Although guidelines had been issued by the Government towards the carrying out of PCR tests at private hospitals, certain such hospitals seem to exceed the limit set in those guidelines. Furthermore, certain private hospitals are in the habit of carrying out PCR tests with purely financial motives, while there are allegations that they are not catering to the demand in the society. Also, certain private hospitals are in the habit of pushing employees of certain institutions to undergo the PCR tests, when an employee falls victim to the virus. Meanwhile, there are only a few companies that are engaged in selling PCR test kits in this country, while these firms are currently maintaining a monopoly in this field. These companies are also propagating the idea that PCR tests should be increased further, with the aim of selling more PCR test kits.
They are presently engaged in propagating this school of thought among the public, through the use of various social media platforms, through various firms, officials and media outlets. These companies, with the use of various social media platforms, sites, media outlets and influential officials, are in the process of spreading the view to the society that the current COVID-19 situation here is dreadful and thereby striving to twist the image the people have of this disease to their own gain as well as advantage.
These people are striving to destabilise the programme initiated by the Government to prevent people from falling victim to this dreaded illness as well as belittle those who are engaged in the task of saving the lives of scores of people who are infected by it. These people are therefore engaged in achieving their vested political interests through this sordid exercise, while they are also in the habit of using certain Opposition politicians to fulfil their dreams in this regard. They also attempt to distort the data regarding the number of infections and deaths from COVID-19 that is being put across to the country by the health authorities and they are presently engaged in comparing the situation in Sri Lanka to that of India where it is at an alarming level. Present COVID-19 situation By 04-05-2021 a total of 115,590 people had contracted the COVID-19 virus, and out of that number 99,153 people (85 per cent) had totally recovered.
Also, so far, 734 had succumbed to the symptoms of this virus. Another 17,805 are continuing to receive treatment at hospitals. Of the number of patients who were detected with COVID-19 during its third wave, from 15 April this year, 7,000 had totally recovered while 75 others had perished from it. Hence, the total percentage of deaths recorded during the third wave stands at 0.38 per cent to date. The percentage during the second wave stood at 0.67 per cent while it was 0.38 per cent during the first wave of this pandemic. Hence, there has not been a steep rise in the number of deaths during the third wave, as depicted by certain groups.