‘Risk of COVID-19 spread very high, public must be concerned’

2020-10-23 at 15:52

Health units have decided to increase the number of PCR tests conducted on associates of coronavirus cases identified within the Peliyagoda fish market.

Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Sudath Samaraweera said the decision was reached owing to the large number of positive cases reported from the Peliyagoda cluster.

However, Dr. Samaraweera said the Peliyagoda cluster cannot be presumed as a communal transmission.

He noted in some instances, PCR tests were conducted on close associates of COVID-19 positive cases immediately, while some did not require to be tested instantly.

In such instances Dr. Samaraweera said the PCR test is conducted after evaluating the situation and identifying a suitable timeframe to conduct testing.

Therefore he noted that PCR tests will be increased in the near future in order to identify positive cases. Dr. Samaraweera stressed the Peliyagoda cluster is vast with cases spread out in various parts of the country.

He noted that this development has created concerns among the public, likening it to a communal transmission.

The Chief Epidemiologist explained that according to the definition of coronavirus communal transmission as cited by the World Health Organisation, the present situation does not constitute to communal transmission, claiming secondary clusters are identified from a main cluster of COVID-19 patients at present.

Dr. Sudath Samaraweera said a risk of the virus spreading in the country is very high, adding that the public should be seriously concerned.

He noted that while the coronavirus cluster increases, the possibility of a spread is vast, adding that health authorities will be unable to identify all positive cases.