Sri Lankan health officials have warned the public about an increase in Covid-19 cases, as well as a dangerous dengue outbreak.
The Health Ministry has urged people to strictly adhere to Covid-19 health precautions such as wearing masks in public, washing hands, and maintaining social distance.
According to Health Secretary Janaka Chandraguptha, the public has been asked to strictly follow health guidelines due to an increase in Covid cases.
In early 2020, Sri Lanka made mask wearing mandatory. However, after nearly 15 million people were fully vaccinated, representing more than 66% of the total population, the mask mandate was lifted on June 10.
With the sudden increase in cases, the Health Secretary has urged people to get the fourth flu shot as soon as possible and to return to the habit of regularly washing and sanitising their hands. Sri Lanka has given its people three vaccinations.
Furthermore, in addition to rising Covid cases, the country is experiencing rapid growth in a dengue epidemic, according to health experts.
“In addition to the Covid virus, there is also the dengue virus spreading. This is in addition to an ordinary virus with the symptoms of fever spreading in the country,” Dr. Hamdani Anver, Director of Tertiary Care Services, the Ministry of Health, said.
According to Dr. Sudatha Samraweera, Director of the National Dengue Control Unit, over 44,000 dengue cases have been reported since January, with 8,200 of these occurring in July alone.
“There is a dangerous increase in dengue cases and the country is in a severe epidemic situation,” he said.
Monday was declared a national dengue prevention day in Sri Lanka, and citizens were instructed to take an hour off work to clear the surroundings of their offices, schools, private and public spaces, and religious places.