The Ministry of Health says there is no mechanism in place to keep track of the number of individuals who have tested positive for the highly infections Delta variant of the coronavirus.
Speaking to media in Colombo, Deputy Director-General of Health Services Specialist Dr. Hemantha Herath noted that that every patient must be subject to genome sequencing testing which is a complex process, in order to identify the Delta variant.
He noted that only estimates of the number of patients positive for the Delta variant are being made at this point.
Dr. Hearth said Delta variant samples taken from various cities are used to make this estimate. He recalled that the previous report by the University of Sri Jayewardenepura estimated a 20-30% spread in the variant within Colombo, adding no recent estimates have been made.
Dr. Hearth speaking on the occupancy of treatment centres revealed that 224 hospitals and intermediate treatment facilities dedicated to treat COVID patients in Sri Lanka are equipped with 32,831 dedicated beds.
Media also questioned Dr. Hemantha Hearth on public discussions that individuals being inoculated with the Sinopharm dose will be unable to travel overseas as it is not recognised as an effective vaccine against the virus.
In response, Dr. Hemantha Herath said individuals inoculated with Sinopharm vaccine will be directed to quarantine for 14 days and will not be rejected by authorities of foreign nations.
However, he assured that the World Health Organisation has called for all countries to accept vaccines approved by the body, and added that nobody will be rejected on grounds of obtaining the Sinopharm vaccine.