Army Commander General Shavendra Silva says that people should strictly adhere to health guidelines spelt out by the Ministry in the coming days to prevent a tragic situation like in India.
“Sri Lankans have a good understanding of how to stay safe from Covid 19 pandemic”, he said speaking to media at a special press briefing at the Information Department.
“However, we are in a time where the situation in our immediate neighbour India has gotten worse. The country recorded its highest of over 330,000 new cases per day last week. More than 2,000 people die every day.
The Army Commander said until New Year the country successfully contained the new Covid daily figures to 150 – 200. But by April 18 the number went up to 300 and by yesterday it has risen up to 900.
The vast majority of the Covid-19 infections were recorded from Kuliyapitiya Ganewatte, Wattala and the Diwulapitiya areas.
Colombo, Gampaha, Kurunegala, Kalutara, Galle, Anuradhapura, Puttalam, Jaffna, Hambantota, Kandy, Trincomalee districts had higher numbers comparatively. Going by these disturbing developments we expect the Covid-19 cases will increase within the coming few days.
People celebrated Avurudu with little regard for health guidelines, The government did not impose strict regulations during the festive season but issued guidelines with strict advice to comply. The Health Ministry advised people to celebrate New Year at home but it seems people have paid little attention to these warnings”, he added.
Packed shops and public transport during the last few days would have contributed to the spike in new cases, the Army commander observed.
Professor at the Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine of Sri Jayawardenapura University Nileeka Malavige said, people have to be extremely careful and strictly adhere to health protocols to reverse the current trend in the country.”
“Not only are the numbers increasing after the New Year but there is a new variant spreading in the country now. this new variant is dangerous than the variant we saw in the first and second waves.
Prof. Malavige warned that this new variant is airborne unlike the old Covid 19 respiratory virus which is transmitted by droplets of saliva or discharge from nose.