Rise in daily detections attributed to clearance of PCR backlog

Tuesday, 11 May 2021 01:26 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • But health authorities warn daily detections not slowing down, appeal for heighted public caution 

The sudden rise in COVID-19 detections has been attributed to the clearance of a backlog of PCR samples in laboratories, but health authorities yesterday warned that this did not mean daily detections were dropping.

Sri Lanka first recorded over 1,000 detections in a single day on 27 April with 1,111 detections, and on Sunday detected 2,672 COVID-19 patients within the day. However, daily detections between 28 April and 8 May have remained between 1,400 and 1,900.

According to the Health Ministry’s Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response Unit Head Dr. Hemantha Herath, a backlog of PCR tests in laboratories had been cleared in the past few days and this resulted in a high number of daily detections.

“However, we cannot say the trend of increased patient detections has completely dropped. Due to this, we must at this point, as the Health Ministry, stress the importance of following all guidelines to ensure our safety,” he added.

He went on to say that Health Ministry officials had visited various treatment centres in the country over the weekend in order to make observations on facilities and other areas that need improvement. The observations will be submitted to the Director General of Health Services as well as the Health Ministry Secretary.

According to Dr. Herath, 15 intensive care units with 146 beds have been dedicated for COVID-19 treatment.

When asked about predictions made by organisations on the increase in the number of COVID-19 patients and fatalities in the coming weeks, Dr. Herath said such predictions would not be rejected and they would instead be considered to take measures to prevent the rise in numbers as predicted.

He explained that discussions focus on how to prevent the situation from worsening as well as measures to be implemented if the situation does worsen.


2,573 COVID-19 positive persons detected