Cross infections escalate in SL-military operated COVID-19 isolation centre in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Thursday, 16 April 2020, 19:06 GMT]
Occupying SL Army isolated twenty persons out of 240 people who had closely interacted with a pastor with alleged COVID-19 infection a month ago in Ariyaalai. Their initial contact with the pastor, who had come from Switzerland, was between 10th and 15th March. The isolation took place on 23 March. Three cases tested positive a week later on 01 April. Another three a day after. The SL military has continued to detain the fourteen negative cases allowing them to interact with each other inside the isolation centre in Kaang-keasan-thu'rai (KKS). Public health officials were not allowed to inspect the conditions of the isolation facility, which is fully managed by the SL military. As a result, eight of the fourteen tested positive on 14 April. There were also unconfirmed reports of two more infections on 15 April, making the total affected to eighteen.

The escalation inside the isolation facility seems to confirm the claims of civil medical officials that the SL military was only interested in isolating the potential victims in a manner that exposed them to cross infections.

There were unconfirmed reports of the members of the isolated group interacting with each other in one dining table and using a shared washroom.

In the meantime, the SL military has not allowed the Regional Directorate of Health Services, who are responsible for public health at the district-level, to inspect the facilities in KKS in Jaffna district or at Muzhangkaavil in Ki'linochchi district. There were four cases reported in the SL military-operated Quarantine Center at Muzhangkaavil.

Only the Teaching Hospital of Jaffna comes under the unitary state mechanism of the SL State. However, the Jaffna hospital has no say in shaping the way the isolation and quarantine centres operated by the SL military.

In the meantime, the occupying SL military and the SL authorities want the director in charge of the Teaching Hospital, Dr T Sathiyamoorthy, to play fiddle to their tunes, medical sources at the hospital told TamilNet on condition of anonymity.



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