The health authorities have taken note of warnings by world-renowned Sri Lankan born virologist of Hong Kong University Prof. Malik Peiris that Sri Lanka is to face the worst ever COVID-19 outbreak in the coming months.
However, Deputy DirectorGeneral of Health Services Dr. Hemantha Herath said, but people had a bigger responsibility in driving transmissions down.
Making his remarks during a virtual address to an event organised by Sri Lanka Science Foundation, Prof. Peiris said there is a resurgence in cases due to Delta variant.
“There has been a resurgence of cases globally, including in the South Asian region. This is primarily due to the new variant, which is the Delta variant. This, of course, played havoc in India. I am afraid that I have to say that it is going to have a major impact on Sri Lanka in the coming weeks. As a public health professional, I would be remising my duty if I don’t warn that Sri Lanka is going to have the worse COVID-19 outbreak in the months ahead,” Prof. Peiris said in his address on video.
He congratulated State Minister, Prof. Channa Jayasumana, and the government for a successful vaccination drive. However, he said people should be administered with two doses for mass vaccination to have a significant impact, and it would not happen within the next month or two.
Asked for the response in this regard, Deputy Director-general of Health Services Dr. Herath who is authorised to talk to the press on Covid-19-related matters said the health authorities had noted all such warnings, but a lockdown of the country would have disastrous economic consequences.
Admitting that there is an uptick in cases, he said it is important to flatten the curve.
“We don’t live in denial of such warnings. We never say the situation is better. We see an increase in the number of cases. But, any lockdown will have a major impact on the economy. People should be more and more responsible in adhering to public health measures. Then only, we can bring the caseload down,” he said.