The Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) has expressed its alarm regarding the recent trend of large and crowded public gatherings. Releasing a statement the SLMA said it is gravely concerned about the phenomenon as they display a complete disregard to detailed guidelines put down by the Minister of Health on the stipulated number to be present at public gatherings and maintaining social distancing.
The SLMS also said it was distressing that these gatherings were being given publicity by the media, both state and private which gives an inaccurate message and a false sense of security among the people. “It undermines the efforts of the health sector in controlling the pandemic. The key messages of accepted norms of infection prevention become redundant in the face of such behavior at public gatherings” the release said.
The SLMA noted that the country is at risk of a second wave of the Covid 19 pandemic and the epidemic initially was controlled only through the adherence to key measures of avoiding social gatherings, maintaining physical distance, hand hygiene, and use of facial masks. “However we have observed that these key measures have not been widely practiced during the last few days. This contributes to a higher risk of transmission of the infection to the community and a possible resurgence of cases from the community”
The Association urged the authorities to take strong deterrent action against such behavior. The SLMS said if not it is likely that there will be an increase in such public gatherings in the future and lead to an increase in problems caused by Covid 19.
The large crowds gathering for the funeral of late Minister Arumugam Thondaman which spanned for six days has been drawing widespread criticism.