May 20, 2020

Navy personnel testing Covid-19 positive could rise’

The Epidemiology Unit says the number of Navy personnel who test positive for the coronavirus within the Welisara Navy Base could increase in future.

Director of the Unit Dr. Sudath Samaraweera said the spread of the coronavirus has been considerably contained as new cases are being reported from identified clusters.

Dr. Samaraweera said while Sri Lanka has recorded more than 1,000 COVID-19 positive cases, more than 50% of cases are Welisara Navy camp personnel and their associates, stressing the only other cases being reported are those who have been repatriated from overseas.

The Director noted there are no other cases reported from society, adding this was a positive sign.

Dr. Samaraweera noted more cases are likely to be reported from the Welisara Navy Base, explaining that the significantly large camp could be likened to a separate country with its own villages and the virus was likely to spread from one person to another.

He remarked the situation within the camp was similar, on a smaller scale, to the outbreak seen in the US and the UK.

Dr. Samaraweera also claimed that the public should begin adhering to routine healthcare practices.

The Director explained as the country gradually returns to a ‘near normal’ state, the public must also return to a ‘new normal life’.

He stressed social distancing must be maintained, face masks must be worn amongst crowds, hands must be washed or sanitised while the public is advised to cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

He noted such methods must become the norm and part of people’s lifestyles, adding if people continue to act responsibly and take precautions, then a recurrent outbreak in Sri Lanka can be prevented.