Respiratory virus samples sent for testing abroad | Sunday Observer

Respiratory virus samples sent for testing abroad

Samples of patients from the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital affected by the respiratory virus currently spreading in the Southern Province, have been sent for testing abroad, Deputy Director General Health Services, Dr Sarath Amunugama has said. He was reported as saying that the samples will be screened by a genetic testing method. The virus has been spreading for the past few weeks in the area, with patients from Galle, Hambantota, and Tangalla being admitted to the Karapitiya Hospital, hospital sources have said. They warned that young children, pregnant women and patients with kidney failure were at highest risk of being affected. While both adults and children could be affected, the health impact on children under two years could be deadly, health sources said. They advised the public to take preventive measures and urged parents whose children have been affected with the virus to refrain from attending public functions to reduce the spread of the disease to non infected persons.

Meanwhile, the Health Minister has instructed Health Services Director General Dr Anil Jasinghe to provide high flow oxygen machines to the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital soon, following a request by paediatricians of the Hospital, to be used to help children with acute respiratory problems.

Responding to fears as to whether the virus had spread to the Colombo City which has the densest population, Colombo Municipality Chief Medical Officer. Dr Ruwan Wijeyamuni said no reports of patients affected by it had reached him at the time of going to press.

Cosmetic producers welcome curb on heavy metal cream imports

The Sri Lanka Cosmetics Producers’ Association has reportedly welcomed the government’s decision to re-impose the ban on cosmetics with a high content of heavy metals. Association members have been quoted as saying that they carried out a campaign against the increasing amount of cosmetics with heavy metals in recent years, and added that much more was needed to educate traders and consumers on this issue. The recent Gazette notification issued by the government restricted the import of make up creams and lotions, cleansing creams and lotions, hair removal cream and sunscreen lotions which contain over 10 mg of lead , 3 mg Arsenic, 1 mg Mercury and 3 mg Cadmium.

Train accidents soar this year

The Railway Department has confirmed that 172 deaths from train accidents have been recorded this year, during the first three months of the year. A total of 169 died from train accidents, most at crossings, by drivers’ negligence while others were deliberate accidents.

To reduce the number of road and train accidents, around 300 programs are expected to be held in schools in Kurunegala and Puttalam Districts in the next two months to educate the school community, and will spread to other districts as well, Education Ministry sources have reportedly said.

Partying Facebook friends found with drugs

A group of young girls and boys who had made friends through Facebook were arrested for consuming narcotics while partying at a tourist guest house at Naarigama, Hikkaduwa. At the time of the raid following a Magisterial order, 4 boys and 3 girls were found to have narcotics in their possession. Police also recovered Kerala Cannabis and tranquiliser tablets from the suspects, each tablet said to be sold at Rs 4,000 .

Printed material to be modified for visually impaired

Here’s good news for those with low vision. Amendments to Intellectual Property Act No 26 of 2003 to introduce exceptions related to copyright that would facilitate the reproduction and distribution of printed media for visually disabled persons has been approved by the Cabinet last week.

In a study in 2016 1.7% of the population among the age 40+ were blind and 15.4% had severe visual impairment among the study population.