Health authorities are following a strict microcephaly surveillance process at all hospitals as a precautionary measure to prevent Zika virus, Health Services Director General Dr. Palitha Mahipala said.
Addressing the media during a press briefing in Colombo yesterday he said that as soon as the Zika virus started to spread in certain countries, the WHO informed Sri Lanka what should be done and since then Sri Lanka has been acting according to WHO advise in dealing with the Zika virus. According to Dr. Mahipala, Sri Lanka is ready to face Zika virus at any time. A strict survailance system is operation at the BIA and at state hospitals.
The MRI is ready to carry out laboratory tests. All health staff have been informed about relevant procedures. Facilities are available in the country to face Zika. Those preparations were done just after Zika reported from certain countries and not recently, he said. All hospitals, both government and private sector, are advised to inform of the need for microcephaly surveillance and to notify such cases within 48 hours with effect from February 1. With this surveillance, if there is an unusual increase in microcephaly cases, relevant sectors will be able to initiate preventive activities on time, he added.