Health guidelines widely violated in shopping malls

By Easwaran Rutnam

Health guidelines have been severely violated in the final days leading up to Christmas and New Years, with some Colombo malls crowded and public transport also accommodating passengers, more than seating capacity.

The Department of Health and public health inspectors (PHI) have said they find it difficult to ensure the public follows Covid health guidelines and etiquette.

With last minute shopping underway in Colombo and other major cities, the public have been seen flocking in large numbers to some of the popular malls, most just to relax.

Public health inspectors said they had received numerous reports of people moving through these public places without wearing face masks or maintaining social distancing.

PHI union president Upul Rohana told the Daily Mirror that they lack the capacity to monitor every area in order to take legal action.

He said mall owners need to make sure shoppers maintain social distancing and wear face masks.

Upul Rohana said measures must also be taken to ensure that there is no overcrowding in shopping malls.

“We only have a small staff, so we can’t monitor every area. But if we observe a violation of the Covid guidelines, we will take legal action, ”he said.

Upul Rohana also claimed that the Covid situation has already gotten out of hand, claiming that the government, health authorities and the public have apparently given up on the fight against Covid.

He said the number of people infected daily is much higher than the actual figures made public.

Deputy Director of Health Services Dr Hemantha Herath told the Daily Mirror that the public should act responsibly and not expect to be under constant surveillance.

He admitted that PHIs are not able to monitor every public space and therefore the public must ensure their own safety and that of others.

“More IHPs will be recruited over the next few days, but they will not be numerous enough to monitor all parts of the country. It is therefore the public’s duty to abide by the guidelines, ”he said.

He also said that institutions and public transport must ensure that health guidelines are strictly observed and that any violations are dealt with on the ground. (Courtesy of the Daily Mirror)

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