Health authorities say although the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths are relatively low at present, no guarantee can be made that travel restrictions or guidelines will not be imposed during the upcoming festive season. Director of the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Samitha Ginige said in comparison to last year, the public has been increasingly resorting to protective measures against the virus.
Addressing a media briefing at the Health Promotion Bureau today, Dr. Ginige stated in comparison to last year the majority of the country have received primary vaccinations. He said over 95% of the population above the age of 20 had been vaccinated while vaccinations of those between 16-19 years is already underway with the need for a few second doses.
He stated vaccinations of those between 12 and 15 has also commenced. Dr. Ginige said the country is battling a virus that causes bodily harm and it is impossible to predict its behaviour.
Dr. Ginige advised the public to be cautious regarding their personal health and to follow good health practices. On a separate note, he commented on the Extraordinary Gazette Notification issued preventing those who are not fully vaccinated from visiting public places from the 30th of April.
He said the Gazette Notification was issued on the 25th of January with the aim of motivating the public to ensure they are fully vaccinated before the 30th of April adding that sufficient time had been provided. He stated it would be required to be fully vaccinated to enter places that have been identified as public places by the Director General of Health services.
Dr. Ginige clarified that accordingly a fully vaccinated individual above 20 years of age would have received both vaccine doses along with the booster dose. He further said a fully vaccinated individual between 16 and 19 would be someone who has received both vaccine doses, while any individual between 12 and 15 who have received one dose would be considered fully vaccinated.
Dr. Ginige added these classifications might change in the future.