PHIs facing challenges due to COVID-19 clusters

2020-10-26 at 09:22

The Public Health Inspectors’ Union says it is facing a number of challenges to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus since clusters of cases emerge from various parts of the country.

Speaking to NewsRadio, Secretary Mahendra Balasuriya noted the virus has spread to 21 districts at present.

He added health and safety units are taking efforts to quarantine the first and second contacts and admit COVID-19 patients to hospital.

He urged those using public transportation methods to remain vigilant and adhere to safety guidelines.

Balasuriya said as COVID-19 patients may use public transport, drivers and conductors are requested to remain vigilant in this regard and explain matters to persons who don’t adhere to quarantine regulations.

He claimed it may be difficult to control the spread of the virus without the corporation of the public.

He said information must be provided promptly pertaining to patients and associates while relevant authorities must also act promptly.

He stressed failure to do so may lead the situation to spiral out of control and a large number of patients will have to be admitted to hospital, which the country and health sector will not be able to bear.

He also explained the issues faced by PHIs during their efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

He noted a lack of essential services being provided was observed in some areas while PHI officers were also intimidated during the quarantine process.

Mahendra Balasuriya said social welfare organisations must be involved in efforts by the government adding that if not the quarantine process will be a burden to the public.

He noted the Ministry of Health must also release patient and PCR test data promptly to relevant Medical Officers of Health and PHI officers.

He added if not an issue will arise when preventing further spread of the virus in the area. Balasuriya said there may be difficult situations at quarantine centres and there’s only around 3,000 PHI officers across the island.

He therefore requested the government and public to assist PHI officers and avoid objections with regards to the quarantine process.