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Pregnant women must be vaccinated urgently, says medial specialist

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By Rathindra Kuruwita

All pregnant women must be vaccinated against Covid-19, Dr Sanath Lanerolle, Senior Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Castle Street Hospital for Women told The Island yesterday.

Vaccination greatly reduced the chance of complications and admission to ICUs, Dr. Lanerolle said. “We also urge the government to expedite the vaccination of pregnant women,” he said.

Dr. Lanerolle added that they had not yet come across a pregnant woman who had contracted the Delta variant. Given the highly contagious nature of this variant, they were already taking steps to deal with such cases in the future, he said.

However, no one should be worried about visiting the Castle Street Hospital for women as almost all those who were being treated had been subjected to PRC testing.

“On average 1,000 deliveries take place at the Castle Hospital. We test all those who seek treatment there.

Commenting on foreign and local reports that those who were vaccinated with AstraZeneca and Sinopharm had contracted COVID-19, Dr. Lanerolle said that people who had been vaccinated could get the disease. However, the vaccines drastically reduced complications and limited transmissibility.

“Some people think they will not get COVID-19 once vaccinated. Some think that they would be much safer with Pfizer. What I have to say is that no matter what vaccine you take, you must follow good health practices,” he said.

Dr. Lanerolle observed that while most women in their first trimester usually recovered from Covid-19, those in later trimesters could face many complications.

“If a pregnant woman has conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes and is obese or over 35, there is a higher risk of complications. If possible, pregnant women must work from home.”



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At least 17 killed after explosion in Peshawar mosque

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(picture from twitter)

BBC reported that at least 17 people have been killed in an explosion at a mosque in the Pakistani city of Peshawar.

The blast happened when the mosque was packed with worshippers and more than 90 people were injured.

A section of the building was destroyed, and officials say people are buried under the rubble. Several others are being taken to local hospitals.

The cause of the explosion is unclear.

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More heavy rain ahead for New Zealand’s largest city

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Auckland experienced an unprecedented amount of rainfall on Friday (picture BBC)

BBC reported that residents in flood-hit northern New Zealand are bracing for more heavy rains as officials issued severe weather alerts.

At least four people have died and a state of emergency was declared in Auckland, which on Friday experienced its worst downpour on record.

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Information Dept. media release: EC Chief asks public not to be misled

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by Priyan de Silva

Chairman of the Election Commission of Sri Lanka, Nimal Punchihewa, asked to comment on a special news release, purportedly issued by the Director General of the Department of Government Information, on Sunday (29), told  The Island  that preparations for the 09 March local government elections were going ahead, as planned, and that the media statement at issue was misleading.

The media statement says: “The gazette notice with signatures of the Chairman and other members of the Election Commission required for the commencement of the Local Government election process has not been sent to the Government Press for printing.”

Punchihewa requested the public not to be misled by any misinformation being spread in an attempt to create doubts in their minds.He also  reiterated that the EC would not be deterred by any acts of intimidation.

Three of the EC members have been threatened with death by an unidentified caller to resign from their posts. They are S. B. Divaratne, M. M. Mohamed and K. P. P. Pathirana. The Opposition has accused the government of trying to sabotage the LG polls.

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