The Health Ministry, yesterday strongly rejected reports that it was downplaying the COVID-19 situation in the country, stating that all numbers reported of patients and deaths to date were accurate and all figures had been released for public knowledge.
A report, claiming to be compiled by the ‘Alliance of Independent Professionals’, spreading on social media channels in recent days, claimed that numbers of COVID-19 patients released by the government were ‘grossly and deliberately under reported’ and that Sri Lanka had two active clusters presently and not one.
Among many allegations, the report said that provincial medical officers and public health inspectors have privately raised objections to the figures disclosed on the grounds while some task force members and government information department officers have privately confessed to journalists that the released figures do not count nearly 40 percent of positive test results from what they call ‘mild COVID patients’.
However Deputy Director General of Health Services, Dr. Pabha Palihawadana rejected allegations stating that all numbers of patients and deaths had been released to the public as soon as their details had been received from the respective hospitals.
She further said that only the navy cluster remained active in Sri Lanka while there was a rise in the number of cases among those repatriated from other countries but they were contained within the quarantine centers. All other clusters had been successfully deactivated.
“Allegations stating we are downplaying the situation here is false. We do not have any other figures released than what we receive from the units. We also ensure than the numbers are not duplicated,” she said.
Further, commenting on allegations that there was a sudden spike in the cases of a kawasaki like disease among children in Sri Lanka, Dr. Pabha said that there was no such disease reported here as yet, linked to COVID-19.
“There is no such cases reported by the clinicians. If we had any such cases it would have been very obvious. Currently we do not even have one single case of respiratory complication among children due to COVID-19 in any OPD or hospital wards. These reports are all false,” she said.
Till last evening, the number of COVID-19 positive patients had jumped to above 1,200 out of which over 700 had recovered and been discharged and 10 deaths had been reported.
A majority of the patients were receiving treatment at the IDH and Navy Hospital.