President instructs to increase PCR tests to contain spread of COVID-19

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa instructed relevant parties to take immediate measures to contain the spread of COVID – 19 following the identification of close associates of the affected and to increase the number of PCR tests.

Close associates of the infected have already being identified. They have been subjected to self-quarantine at their homes. President advised to send them to closest hotels to undergo the quarantine process.

President Rajapaksa made these remarks at a discussion with the Presidential Task Force on COVID – 19 prevention held at the Presidential Secretariat today (5), following the tracing of COVID-19 positive persons in several areas in the Gampaha district.

Doctors are of the view that the failure on the part of the people with the passage of time to follow health guidelines issued by the Government is the main reason to the sudden spike in the number of affected.

COVID – 19 pathogen is rapidly raging across the globe. President Rajapaksa pointed out that despite reporting the global scenario, the awareness campaign carried out in the country to educate the public was missed by the country’s mass media. People also have forgotten the prevalence of the disease, President said.  

Instructions have been issued to carry out random PCR tests in every district in the country as well in institutes. Especially, organizations where a large number of people are employed have been asked to conduct tests. However, it does appear that the factories with large work forces have neglected this responsibility, President added.

The general public and the media are obliged to assist the initiatives to control the spread of the pandemic with a clear understanding of the current situation. President also said that a thorough investigation should be carried out into the presence of COVID infected from the community after a lapse of two months.

Paying tribute to the great efforts by the Police and the Public Health Officers President emphasized the importance of carrying out that programme at village level.

Steps have already been taken to prevent people from leaving areas where infected patients were identified. Other factories and institutions in the area will be randomly checked. The President also pointed out the need to conduct random inspections at workplaces with the participation of the private sector.

The Police said that many precautions that had been identified as measures to be taken to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 were not properly followed by the public. The requirement to gazette the existing rules and regulations aimed at preventing COVID-19 was also discussed.  

President Rajapaksa also instructed the media to continuously apprise the public regarding the coronavirus.

The potential of indigenous medicines to strengthen the immune system and to speed up the healing process was discussed in detail. 

Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, State Minister Sisira Jayakody, Secretary to the President P.B. Jayasundera , Principal Advisor to President Lalith Weeratunga and the members of the Presidential Task Force for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak were present in this meeting.

(President’s Media Division)

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