It’s up to the public to decide if they need another lockdown, says PHI Union Chief


Sri Lanka is likely to face another COVID-19 wave, warns the head of the Public Health Inspectors Union (PHIU) Upul Rohana. He that Sri Lanka had recorded over 600 new cases for the third consecutive day.

“It is up to the people to decide whether they need another lockdown, which will deal severe blow not only to the economy but the education of our children. If the people follow health guidelines, we will be able to control the virus and keep the country open,” he said yesterday, November 8.

Upul Rohana said that citizens and officials should also be mindful of the fact that immunity boosted by vaccines decreased within months. A recent survey in the US showed that there was a dramatic decline in efficacy of Pfizer, Moderna, J and J vaccines in six months.

The study showed that Pfizer which had an 86.9% effectiveness in March 2021 had only 43% efficiency in September. By September, the vaccine’s effectiveness had declined to 13.1% for J&J and 58.0% for Moderna.

“This is not a good sign; we have a lot of people who were vaccinated with Pfizer and Moderna doses. These are what people consider the best vaccines. So, it’s obvious that the best way to combat the pandemic is to follow good health practices,” Upul Rohana said.

Deputy Director General of Health Services, Dr. Hemantha Herath said that the increasing number of cases was not a good sign and that people should not think that they would not be affected because they were vaccinated.

“Don’t be overconfident. Wear your masks. Don’t take them off unless you eat or drink and even then ensure that you are away from people. If there is a spike in cases, we will have to recommend another lockdown. We urge the citizens to follow health guidelines because no one wants another lockdown,” he said.

Currently, 63% of Sri Lankans are double-jabbed and over 56,252 booster shots have been administered. Over 202,000 Pfizer vaccines had been brought in on Sunday, Dr. Herath said.