12th October 2020 20:26:09 Hours
A specially-summoned Task Force meeting this afternoon (12), held at the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO), led by Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Head, NOCPCO, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army, acting Director General of Health Services, Dr S. Shridharan and other major stakeholders in specific committees closely reviewed the effectiveness of ongoing COVID-19 prevention mechanism, imposition of isolation measures at village levels, capacity enhancement in Quarantine Centres, application of new strategic approaches for management, readiness of island-wide hospitals for mass-scale admission in an emergency, minimizing delay of PCR test results, clamping of quarantine curfew at Police division levels and the gamut of related concerns arising out of the resurgence of new clusters, etc.
Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva stressing the urgent need to re-visit all strategic operational mechanisms at all levels in the wake of emergence of new clusters suggested that conduct of PCR tests be expedited and further de-centralized as the Sri Lanka Army Hospital laboratory is capable of conducting those PCR tests of those in quarantine at Hotels, community individuals and Quarantine Centres, thereby reducing the time period being consumed for such test results.
Members of Task Force after extensive discussions were of the view that imposition of quarantine curfew at Police divisions on case by case evaluation was the most effective and best result-oriented practice when more and more clusters are detected. It was also agreed upon to take necessary measures in this regard for its operational aspect as numbers in Quarantine Centres, clusters in Minuwangoda and Gampaha areas and in self-quarantine are fast increasing.
Health Ministry officials further told Task Force members that around 3000 beds in 148 island-wide hospitals, out of all 800 hospitals are now prepared to accommodate COVID-19 positive cases in case of any emergency as an SOS measure. Members also underlined the need to sustain strict health guidelines among the general public with the support of law enforcement authorities and the continuing awareness moves.
Meanwhile, NOCPCO Head in a separate Media voice-cut urged the public to believe in information being circulated by government sources since that responsibility lies with all stakeholders managing the entire operation against the spread of its transmission.
"At the time this voice cut is released, 39 COVID-19 positive cases were reported from the Minuwangoda factory. Among them, 25 were identified from Army Quarantine Centers and other 14 were confirmed close associates of those factory workers. Accordingly, 1346 positive cases have been so far reported from the Minuwangoda factory. All positive patients, particularly factory workers are under treatment in hospitals and other associates in quarantine centers are yet to be confirmed as positive or otherwise. Other than those positive cases in the factory, other identified positive cases have also been hospitalized. Accordingly 90% of the families of infected personnel are now at quarantine centers, managed by tri forces and other families will also be sent to the quarantine centres today. Within next two days we expect to isolate all families for quarantining."
“Day before yesterday we identified few COVID 19-affected personnel in Mannar and we immediately isolated Pattithottam and Periyakadey villages in order to identify close contacts of the affected. However, we have now lifted the isolation practice of those two villages this evening after necessary contacts were screened. Due to COVID 19 cluster at Minuwangoda we imposed quarantine curfew in those areas, but we kept supermarkets, pharmacies and other food stalls open to the public for purchase of essentials during the last 4 days. However, as another precautionary measure, we will impose a quarantine curfew strictly in the next three days up to Thursday (15) having asked all shops and pharmacies to keep them closed during those 3 days. We will decide about the further course of actions in society. "
A video clip of the Statement is enclosed below: