24th March 2020 22:15:26 Hours
The routine Media interaction at the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) at Rajagiriya took place this afternoon (24), attended by Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Head of the (NOCPCO), Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army, Medical Specialist, Dr Anil Jasinghe, Director General of Health Services and Medical Specialist, Dr Paba Palihawadana, Deputy Director General of Health Services (Public Health Services).
"A batch of 311 returnees quarantined for two weeks in Army-managed Quarantine Centres (QCs), 108 from Kandakadu and 203 from Punani this morning (24) left for their homes in Matara, Kandy and Colombo areas in 11 buses, together with 6 trucks carrying their luggage. Similarly, those 17 persons detected from Jaffna district, suspicious of having contracted COVID-19 are now under quarantine in the specially set up QC at Mailady. Meanwhile, a total of 3224 individuals, including 31 foreigners are still under quarantine in 47 Quarantine Centres," according to Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff, Commander of the Army and Head of the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) at Rajagiriya.
Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, added: "Similarly, the second batch of 208 individuals, quarantined in Kandakadu and Punani QCs is expected to leave for their homes tomorrow (25). All transport facilities for this second batch will also be provided by the Army."
Medical Specialist, Dr Paba Palihawadana, Deputy Director General of Health Services (Public Health Services) specially pointed out that the general public en masse need not wear face masks as such since this pandemic is not spreading that fast in Sri Lanka and only Health officials and employees have been recommended the use of those face masks as at present.
"The Public will be informed of any such need for wearing masks only if any eventuality would arise. Techniques of wearing the mask, its proper use and its removal should be done with careful precision and it would be difficult for an ordinary individual to use it. Improper use of the mask by touching it sometimes could lead to contamination of COVID-19 infection," Dr Palihawadana warned.
Medical Specialist, Dr Anil Jasinghe, Director General of Health Services revealed that 4 more positive cases had also been reported today, three from Italy and another one from the US. "This confirms further that the majority of those positive cases, detected in Sri Lanka are those arriving from foreign lands. The government has declared Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara Districts as high risk zones because the majority of the 102 positive cases so far detected were from those districts. So far, 10 patients from Gampaha District, 21 from Colombo District and 13 from Kalutara District have been confirmed infected. Whether curfew is in force in those areas or not, it is essential for the public in those districts to keep social distancing in order to arrest further transmission of the disease," Dr Jasinghe urged the public.
(Click the Video Clip Attached)