Health authorities say there is a pertinent risk of the entire health system in the country collapsing, if the number of dengue cases sees a rapid increase at a time healthcare staff are stretched to their capacity due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Health authorities are requesting the public to destroy dengue breeding grounds at residences, offices and other worksites in order to prevent the health system from collapsing.
Speaking during a media briefing in Colombo, Head of the National Dengue Prevention Unit Dr. Sudath Samaraweera said due to the coronavirus situation, last year, reports of dengue cases were at a minimal.
Dr. Samaraweera however said they have observed a risk of a substantial number of dengue cases surfacing this year and therefore requested the public to be mindful of environments.
He said before the COVID pandemic, dengue remained the main communicable disease in Sri Lanka which has infected a large number of people during over the decades.
Dr. Sudath Samaraweera noted therefore the public must act diligently and prevent the loss of lives.
Meanwhile, health authorities say since both COVID-19 and dengue spread through viruses and have similar symptoms, if an individual has fever, they should immediately seek medical treatment.
Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Health Lakshmi Somathilaka said the public can contribute to the eradication of dengue by destroying breeding grounds.
She said the public by maintaining a clean environment can prevent the emergence of another dengue crisis.
Somathilaka noted despite the coronavirus crisis they have been continuously engaging in dengue eradication efforts while adhering to health guidelines and said they are also seeking the support of citizens to minimise infections.