Expert warns govt. against over reliance on anti-COVID vaccines

By Rathindra Kuruwita

If the government did not end its over reliance on the COVID-19 vaccination, Delta plus variant would enter Sri Lanka, Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Management Consultant Dr. Sanjaya Perera claimed yesterday.

Dr. Perera told The Island that the government advisors were relying the vaccine too much. While vaccines would prevent possible deaths, it would not prevent anyone from being infected or transmitting the virus, he said.

“Due to the absolute faith in vaccines, we have removed a number of restrictions. Among these is increasing the number of people who can take part in weddings, etc. As the SLMA also said, this is too soon. We should not be in a hurry to help a few sectors, if such actions can bring the entire country down,” he said.

Dr. Perera added that the government had no system to regulate public transport and guidelines were not being followed, especially in trains. The government had over 18 months to figure out how to ensure that buses and trains were not overcrowded, he said.

“People ignore health guidelines and get into buses and trains because they need to get to work. If we had learnt anything in the past 18 months, most people would have been working from home now. However, only a few institutions have done the needful and set up systems and protocols to work from home,” he said.

Schools too had reopened without proper protocols and guidelines. It had been done for the sake of reopening schools, he said.

“We also see large protests across the country. We all saw this coming. Everyone has to act responsibly, but the biggest responsibility lies with the government,” he said.

In the UK, the US and a few Asian countries Delta plus was on the rise and in the UK around 40% of those testing positive were now below 30 years. Sri Lanka might see more under 30 positive cases if steps were not taken to prevent Delta plus from coming in, Dr. Perera said.

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