- 10,395 PCR and 4,499 rapid antigen tests conducted, but daily testing dropped below 15,000
- Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 detections rise to 474,780
- COVID-19 recoveries rise to 389,969
- 71,390 patients receive medical or home-based care
- Health authorities advise women to delay pregnancy by a year, due to risks caused by Delta-variant
By Charumini de Silva
A total of 2,917 more persons tested for COVID-19 yesterday, continuing the recent trend of daily detections below 3,000.
The patients detected yesterday include 2,961 persons from the New Year cluster, while three Sri Lankan overseas arrivals tested positive for COVID-19.
The Epidemiology Unit data shows a total of 368,651 from the New year cluster and 8,270 patients from the Prisons cluster. The local cases also include 82,785 persons from the Peliyagoda cluster and 3,059 persons from the Divulapitiya cluster.
The imported COVID-19 cases consist of 6,856 Sri Lankans and 328 foreigners.
Sri Lanka has detected a total of 474,780 COVID-19 patients up to date.
According to the HPB data, 10,395 PCR tests and 4,499 rapid antigen tests were carried out yesterday, with daily testing dropping just below 15,000.
The district distribution of COVID-19 detections shows 103709 persons from Colombo, 86,280 persons from Gampaha, 47,308 persons from Kalutara, 26,203 persons from Galle, and 22,699 persons from Kurunegala.
Western Province detections during the third wave include 70,934 persons from Colombo, 67,394 persons from Gampaha, and 40,063 persons from Kalutara.
As of yesterday, 71,390 persons were under medical or home-based care, with hospitals monitoring 3,212 persons suspected of having COVID-19.
The Epidemiology Unit states that the country’s COVID-19 recoveries rose to 389,969 with 1,769 persons leaving hospitals yesterday.
Meanwhile, Specialist Dr. Asoka Gunaratne resigned from the COVID-19 Technical Committee, the fourth medical person to step down from the Health Ministry assigned group of experts.
On Tuesday, Dr. Ananda Wijewickrama also stepped down from the same committee.
“If there is a feeling of such an occurrence, the action taken by him will be sufficient to open the eyes of anyone responsible,” Health Services Deputy Director Dr. Hemantha Herath said, responding to a question on whether Dr. Gunaratne had left the committee due to similar reasons given by other medical professional, such as disagreements about the vaccination process.
Previously, top immunologist Prof. Neelika Malavige from the Sri Jayewardenepura University and community physician Prof. A. Pathmeswaran attached to the Colombo North (Ragama) Medical Faculty had also resigned from the independent vaccine advisory expert committee of the drug regulator.
Health experts have recently shown displeasure over certain decisions taken over the vaccination program and COVID prevention being carried out against the recommendations of the Technical Committee in an unscientific manner.
Medical professionals have also criticised the decision to provide the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to individuals in the age group of 20 to 30 in the Hambantota District.
Many groups claim that the corrupt political system has let professionals and the country down, disregarding expert and scientific advice.
Meanwhile, Gynaecologist Dr. Harsha Atapattu yesterday advised women to delay pregnancy by a year, pointing out that lives of both the mother and the baby could be at risk due to the highly infectious Delta-variant of COVID-19.
“If possible, delay pregnancy by a year,” Dr. Harsha Atapattu requested at a media briefing held at the Health Promotion Bureau (HBU) yesterday.
Previously, COVID-19 cases during pregnancy were focused on the final trimester and birth, however of late there have been more serious cases in the second and occasionally first trimester, he said.