A disturbing milestone certainly but not as much for the Minister of Health. At the weekly press conference of the National Communication Committee, he made it clear that since the number of vaccinations is increasing and 99% of the positive cases are asymptomatic so the red zones and quarantine for contacts are becoming less and less urgent.
“These cases have been identified mostly on people in quarantine, in isolation in dormitories and through other screening and contact tracing exercises,” says Dr Kailesh Jagutpal. At the most recent count, the near a dozen dormitories in quarantine combined contain 573 active cases, 235 positive cases by contact tracing, 217 in testing centres and the rest are the figures of the various tests of people in quarantine and localized screenings. There are only two serious but stable cases, which required to be on oxygen masks, but attributed to other diseases and also being unvaccinated.
The Minister stressed that “of these 1,509 cases, 1,501 are asymptomatic.” He did not fail to praise the reliability of the vaccination campaign, which reached more than 50 % of the population, or 626,284 vaccinated, in terms of the first dose and the threshold of 45 % already exceeded for both doses, that is 517,643 vaccinated. He intended to draw attention on an important evolution “we are facing less and less severe cases of Covid and less hospitalization due to the increase in the vaccination rate. At the ENT Hospital we have 80 places of which only 30 are occupied by elderly people and those suffering from other conditions”.
More screening more cases
Cases have increased since the resumption of economic activities. Dr Kursheed Meetoo-Badulla, the Acting Regional Health Superintendent, pointed out that the increases in cases can be explained by the simple fact that “we are increasingly screening factory workers, personnel in the health and hospitality sectors and especially education sector, both students and staff, and there is also self-testing”. She explained that it is quite normal to have identified so many Covid positivites in the dormitories given the rate of residents against the quality of the ventilation. Symptomatic patients are recognized by a feverish state and cough. “Of the last 2,479 positive cases, 48% were unvaccinated. 8% made a first dose, the rest were completely vaccinated,” she said.
Self-Isolation, the next phase
Home Isolation would be the next phase according to the minister. “Compared to last year, the cases are now less complicated. It is better for the positively tested vaccinated person to isolate themselves and we take care of the tests at home” he said, considering the balance between economy and health factors. He also recalled that the resumption of the campaign of the first dose.
Revision of the Covid-19 Regulations 2021
The Minister of Health wanted to be reassuring about the current pandemic situation, especially by saying “we must live with the Covid Virus and take care of our health by sanitary measures. The virus will evolve just like that of the flu and the vaccine will evolve with it.” And he was supported by Dr. Kursheed Meetoo-Badulla. At the Ministers Council of this Friday, it was fixed that the quarantine period will last until August 31, that is, the Covid-19 Regulations 2021 will be revised especially regarding the closure of offices, businesses and other workspaces, quarantine and Self-isolation, as highlights.
Editor’s note: Quarantine per head, daily costs Rs 2800 to the government.