- 83,552 COVID-19 patients detected in island, over 79,000 linked to triple cluster
- 3,654 persons under medical care, recoveries rise to 79,422
- Interference from various parties causing inefficiency in vaccination program: Health authorities
- Trade unions to decide on action if interference continues
By Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya
A total of 310 people tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the total number of COVID-19 patients detected in the island to 83,552.
The patients detected yesterday include 291 associates of the Peliyagoda COVID-19 cluster and 12 persons from the Prisons cluster. The Divulapitiya, Peliyagoda and Prisons triple cluster has thus expanded to 79,392 patients.
In addition to the triple cluster, the country’s total patient count includes 2,058 Sri Lankan returnees from abroad, 950 Navy personnel and their contacts, 651 persons from the Kandakadu cluster, and 181 foreigners.
The district distribution of patients records 28,072 persons from Colombo, 16,651 persons from Gampaha, 6,128 persons from Kalutara, 3,906 persons from Kandy, and 2,294 persons from Kurunegala.
This includes the 352 COVID-19 patients detected on Sunday, of which 112 were from Colombo, 57 were from Gampaha, and 50 were from Ratnapura. The patients detected from Colombo include 56 from Talangama, seven from Boralesgamuwa, and six from Dehiwala.
According to the Health Promotion Bureau, only 9,822 PCR tests were performed on Sunday.
There are currently 3,654 persons under medical care at various treatment centres, including 203 persons at the Hambantota District General Hospital, 167 persons at the Warakapola Base Hospital, and 161 persons at the Giriulla Treatment Centre.
While intensive care units are currently treating 29 persons, hospitals have 451 persons suspected of having COVID-19 under observation.
According to the Epidemiology Unit, 475 persons were discharged from hospitals yesterday, of which 42 persons were from the Rambukkana Treatment Centre, 39 persons were from the Embilipitiya Treatment Centre, and 37 persons were from the Warakapola Base Hospital.
A total of 79,422 persons have recovered from the virus to date.
Meanwhile, health officials yesterday blamed inefficiency in the vaccination program on interference from various persons.
“With a program to provide every person with the vaccine in place, irregularities occur because various parties request to have the vaccine provided to them quickly,” Deputy Director General of Health Services Dr. Hemantha Herath said, adding that attempts have been made for persons to receive the vaccine even after recipients have been identified.
Requesting individuals refrain from such behaviour, Dr. Herath went on to say: “If 250 additional people show up in a place where we have arranged for 1,000 vaccines, we will have to stop administering vaccines at some point.”
He added that persons should also refrain from gathering in crowds near vaccination centres and should instead wait until they are informed of a vaccination date by relevant health officials.
The Public Health Inspectors’ Union (PHI Union) yesterday said they will take a decision with regard to this matter together with other trade unions if such interference continues to take place, as it makes it impossible to carry out the immunisation program.
“If a member of a political party or public representative makes any changes to vaccine distribution, lists, or vaccination centres, it will be a barrier to their voter base making the most of these vaccines,” PHI Union President Upul Rohana said.
“Incidents of such influencing were reported in the past few days, especially from the Colombo Municipal Council area. If this continues in a manner where this program cannot be carried out, as a trade union, we have to make a decision together with other trade unions”.