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Who made the harmful decision to cease PCR interventions on flight passengers?

The decision to release fully vaccinated domestic and foreign passengers arriving in Sri Lanka from October 01 without being referred to PCR interventions is rather foolish and putting the entire country in danger, Health Trade Unions alleged.

In the event that no vaccination fully protects anyone from the pandemic, specialists being influneced to treat people as “non-infectees” on the basis of a mere PCR test carried out in a foreign country two or three days before their arrival has now become a puzzle, following the government’s announcement on letting returnees who are fully vaccinated escape any PCR intervention in Sri Lanka.

Commenting on the event, Ravi Kumudesh, Convener of the Health Trade Union Coordinating Centre, said: “According to these guidelines, domestic and foreign passengers arriving in Sri Lanka are entered to the country without being referred to a PCR test. We have to ask the Director General of Health Services whether someone had put a knife on your throat to make this decision. Or is there a medical expert who had advised you to make that decision? Because no country in the world has taken such an informal decision so far. Apparently, only two countries in the world are currently implementing the decision not to conduct PCR tests on people entering the country. Those two countries have controlled Covid-19 100 per cent and have developed the ability to conduct PCR throughout their whole lands.

The act of protecting the gates is one of the world’s leading policies of Covid control. Now, we are still at a lockdown, which means we are at a huge risk. Stopping the conduction of PCR tests on people entering the country amid such a lockdown is never a healthy decision at all, but a decision made under the influence of an informal business figure or two, with fear.

We are we conducting PCR tests twice? No matter where in the world a PCR test is carried out, the sensitivity of such a test is only 70 per cent. After performing such a 70 per cent sensitive test and flying to another country for two-or-three days, one has to reverify the accuracy of their status. The results of these test may require seven days. The results may not be accurate for the next few days. This is why almost every country in the world has made it mandatory to carry out the intervention when leaving and entering their own country. But ours suddenly takes a decision to stop these interventions.

Also, by doing this to those who have completed the vaccination, an attempt is being made to show the country that there is protection which the vaccine does not provide. A form of protection that was not promised by the company which manufactured the vaccine, nor the country, is expected from it. None of the vaccines have been shown to be eliminating the contagion upon vaccination to date. A vaccine only reduces mortality and the risk of being mortal. Therefore, anyone who is vaccinated can develop the disease, so can transmit the disease to another. So, the expectation that no PCR test is required upon complete vaccination is similar to the notion that the contagion is eliminated upon vaccination. So, if no country who developed these vaccine is confident of such a prominent result, with what expectation should our country develop one?”

Following the Sinhala and Tamil New Year festival, more than 12,000 lives were lost within five and a half months due to the third wave of Covid-19. The damage to the economy caused by the lockdown is measured by billions of rupees. As we speak, the country is still spending quarantine curfew. Despite the decision to lift curfew from October 01, interprovincial travel restrictions will be in force for another two weeks. To date, the daily death toll remains at a figure of over 50, and as a country we may have to face the economic and social impact of this pandemic for a long time ahead.

Should any authority make any unscientific decision affecting the entire country, it would be a heinous crime endangering the lives of many people.

Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports claim that there is a state minister behind the decision to stop the PCR interventions and that a commission affair has caused the event to trigger.

We are looking forward to updating on the matter soon.

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