BY SURESH PERERA
Many people who were administered the Indian Covishield Covid-19 vaccine have developed severe side effects, but a senior medical professional assured that there’s nothing to worry as “it shows that with a very high immune response, the jab is working”.
A health worker in Colombo had even fainted not because there was something amiss with the vaccine, but due to what was perceived as Trypanophobia (extreme fear of medical procedures involving injections or hypodermic needles), he said.
“In my career, I have come across not only patients, but even health workers who have a morbid fear of injections and surgical procedures so much so they tremble at the thought of undergoing the treatment”, he noted.
Side effects and allergic reactions are not confined to the Covishield jab as it’s a common phenomenon even when it comes to penicillin and certain other antibiotics, the medical professional outlined.
He said that the most common side effects amongst people who had received the Covishield vaccine are fever, body aches and pains, cramps and vomiting.
When told about some health workers who had started to tremble after receiving the jab at a hospital in the south, he assured there was no reason to panic as the reaction to the vaccine will gradually taper off as the body gets hold of it.
“These side effects are not fatal at all”, he stressed, adding that older people are more tolerant of the Covid vaccine.
In a scenario where three to four positive cases are found in every 100 persons screened in Colombo, there could be asymptomatic patients or those with antibodies in their system also receiving the jab, the official opined.
With an extensive Covild inoculation drive, the country will be able to move towards herd immunity, which means that when most of the population is immune to an infectious disease, it provides indirect protection to those who are not immune to the disease, he continued.
It’s akin to vaccinating five people and providing protection to the three others sharing a room with them, he noted.
A consultant surgeon who is 60 years old said that he and his family were administered the Covishield vaccine but no side effects were experienced.
He said that there had been instances where certain antibiotic drugs had led to allergic reactions in patients with some fatalities reported.
“It doesn’t play out the same way in most cases and we should weigh the risk versus benefits. Just as much as antibiotics have killed some people, how many millions of lives have the drugs been able to save?”, he asked.
The risk is minimal with medicinal drugs but the advantages are more in terms of treating the sick and saving lives, he emphasized.
He said inoculating the population against the raging virus is the only way out for Sri Lanka as if the pandemic gets out of hand with transmission levels spiraling, the fallout will be devastating not only socially but economically as well.
So far the Covishield jab has proven its worth and the time is opportune to inoculate more and more people to ensure long-term immunity from the deadly contagion, he added.
“This vaccine will help us prevent the further spread of Covid-19 and thereby overcome the threat by ensuring long-term protection from the virus”, he said.
India donated 500,000 doses of the Covishield jab to Sri Lanka, which were administered to front-line health workers and armed services personnel under the initial phase.
Concerns have been raised worldwide over reports that some people have possible allergic reactions to Covid-19 vaccines. A team of experts who examined the cases reassured that the vaccines can be given safely, even to people with food or medication allergies.
Meanwhile, Serum Institute of India, the manufacturer of Covishield, warned that people severely allergic to any ingredient of Covid-19 vaccine are advised not to take it.
One should not get the Covishield vaccine if there was a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of the jab, the Institute said in a factsheet for the vaccine recipient on the website to “help the recipient understand the risks and benefits of the Covishield vaccine”.
The ingredients of Covishield vaccine are “L-Histidine, L-Histidine hydrochloride monohydrate, Magnesium chloride hexahydrate, Polysorbate 80, Ethanol, Sucrose, Sodium chloride, Disodium edetate dihydrate (EDTA), Water for injection”, the Pune-based Serum Institute said.
Media reports quoted the Indian Health Ministry confirming 447 adverse reactions to Covid-19 vaccines as 224,301 people received the first dose of vaccines in the country as of January 17, 2020.
“Of the 447 Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFIs), three had to be hospitalized, while two of them have now been discharged after 24 hours, one continues to be under observation,” said Manohar Agnani, joint secretary at the Health Ministry.
Govt. will implement PCoI recommendations, but won’t ban BBS
By Shamindra Ferdinando
SLPP Chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris yesterday (8) ruled out the possibility of proscribing the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) as recommended by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) that probed the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks.
Addressing the regular weekly SLPP briefing at the Waters Edge, Prof. Peiris, who is also the minister of education, emphasized that the particular recommendation wasn’t acceptable to the government. He described it as a difficult recommendation.
Declaring that the proscription of the BBS wouldn’t do any good, Prof. Peiris said implementation of PCoI recommendations would be the prerogative of the government.
Prof. Peiris assured that the government would implement the remaining recommendations.
Chairman of the PCoI, Supreme Court judge Janak de Silva handed over its report to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Feb 1, 2021. Other members of the PCoI were Court of Appeal judge Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne, retired Supreme Court judges Nihal Sunil Rajapaksha and A. L. Bandula Kumara Atapattu and former Secretary to the Ministry of Justice W.M.M.R. Adhikari. H. M. P. Buwaneka Herath functioned as Secretary to the PCoI.
Prof. Peiris said that the Opposition could raise any issue related to the Easter Sunday carnage during the three-day debate scheduled to commence tomorrow (10).
Minister Peiris that the incumbent government would ensure a no holds barred investigation into suicide bombing spree that claimed the lives of 270 and wounded 500 others.
Alleging that the majority of those who had been severely critical of the PCoI hadn’t perused it, Prof. Peiris said that a careful examination of the dossier revealed some critically important factors pertaining to the attacks blamed on the National Thowheed Jamaat (NTJ).
Prof. Peiris said that many inquired about the alleged involvement of a foreign hand in the NTJ terror project. Against the backdrop of the release of PCoI report many condemned the report claiming it didn’t address contentious issues such as possible foreign hand in the Easter Sunday carnage, Prof. Peiris said.
The SLPP Chairman said that the PCoI had made a revelation about a certain foreign organization. He declined to name the organization.
However, inquiries made by The Island revealed that FETO (Fetullah Terrorist Organization) aka the Gulen Movement
had been named by the PCoI. During PCoI proceedings, it transpired how the previous yahapalana administration had received specific information from Turkey but it chose to ignore the dire warnings. Turkey blamed July 2016 coup attempt on FETO and its US based leader Gulen.
Referring to January 2019 explosives recovery at Wanathavilluwa, Prof. Peiris said that the PCoI emphasized the need to further investigate that particular detection. The PCoI also pointed out how further interrogation of three persons already in custody in connection with the Easter Sunday carnage could help investigators to establish the truth.
Dismissing accusations that the PCoI hadn’t served any useful purpose, Prof. Peiris pointed out that some persons arrested in Qatar were now in Australia. Prof. Peiris said that the attention of the Australian authorities were on them. The Education Minister refrained from going to further details.
Quoting the PCoI, Prof. Peiris also referred to a person, whom he called a leader of an extremist organization responsible for making an alleged attempt to cause massive death and destruction in the wake of the Easter Sunday attacks. Prof. Peiris said that the PCoI had recommended punitive measures against this person in terms of the relevant law.
Commenting on specific recommendations issued in respect of the Easter Sunday carnage, Prof. Peiris said that the police, CID, TID, AG and CIABOC had received those instructions. The PCoI had created a solid framework for relevant authorities to take tangible measures.
Prof. Peiris declined to comment on queries based on various assumptions meant to divert public attention. He emphasized that whatever the breakaway UNP faction, the Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) said the public however was aware they were all part of that utterly pathetic government that failed to thwart the NTJ in spite of having advanced intelligence.
Prof. Peiris called Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa’s vow to hang all those responsible as nothing but a joke.
Responding to another query, Prof. Peiris said that the previous regime caused mayhem by lifting restrictions in place to prevent undesirable persons entering the country. During Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s tenure as Secretary Defence visas were denied to the majority of those who sought opportunity to address religious issues. The yahapalana lot simply did away with restrictions and essentially failed to take precautions fearing what Prof. Peiris called political repercussions.
Only reason for vesting Muthurajawela under the UDA
By Ifham Nizam
The government had decided to conserve the Muthurajawela wetland under the Urban Development Authority as the Wildlife Ministry and Department could not afford to pay for the immediate acquisition of some of the land, Urban Development State Minister Nalaka Godahewa said.
Godahewa said that his Ministry had both institutions with the relevant technology and capability to conserve the ecosystem.
He said Muthurajawela would be handed over to the Ministry of Wildlife after being conserved as a Ramsar wetland.
He said so participating at the Inter-ministerial discussion on sustainable environment development. Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera was also present.
Muthurajawela, which encompassed 3,064 hectares in 1990, had now shrunk to 1,200 hectares due to encroachment, the Minister said.
Minister Godahewa added that although a private company had acquired part of the wetland for some projects, steps would be taken to acquire the entire extent and make it part of the Muthurajawela Wetland Zone.
Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that although the private company had planned to set up golf courses, hotels and even a helicopter yard, none of them would be allowed.
The company posed a danger to the Muthurajawela wetland, the Minister said, adding that the 700 acres acquired by it would be taken back. Therefore, no new constructions would be allowed to be carried out in the Muthurajawela wetland and it was the position of the government to conserve what remained of the eco-sensitive region and pass it on to the next generation, he said.
The Ministers emphasised that the city of Colombo was named as the first Ramsar Wetland City in the world due to the measures taken by the President during his tenure as the Defence Secretary to develop the city of Colombo under a green city concept.
The inter-ministerial coordination programme was launched last week at the Ministry of Environment to address the issues related to the environment.
A Cabinet memorandum submitted by the Minister of Environment Amaraweera to establish an Inter-Ministerial Committee on monitoring environmental issues in January was approved by the Cabinet.
The inter-ministerial coordination programme involves the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Conservation, the Ministry of Water Supply, Wildlife Conservation, the construction of elephant fences and ditches. Relevant Ministers Mahinda Amaraweera, Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, Vasudeva Nanayakkara and Wimalaweera Dissanayake, Secretaries to the Ministries Dr. Anil Jasinghe and Bandula Harischandra also participated. Among the issues discussed at the meeting were the recent media reports of deforestation, especially the Muthurajawela Wetland Conservation Programme.
Ranil predicts worst economic shocks by year end
UNP leader and former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the government was printing money like printing newspapers.
Speaking at a meeting held at Borella on Sunday with the youth of the Green Blood organisation, affiliated to the party, Wickremesinghe said that managing the economy was not an easy task and it would take a decade for the Sri Lankan economy to bounce back.
The former PM said that the present government had printed three times the amount of money printed during the past 10 years during the tenure of President Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2010 and of UNP rule in 2015.
Wickremesinghe said that the government had slashed taxes and reduced the country’s income by giving concessions to companies and big businesses; the general public did not get the benefit of such tax cuts. “The country’s revenue had decreased even before the arrival of Covid,” he said.
“The government prints money like printing newspapers because it has no revenue. We saved $ 7.5 billion as reserves. Now, it is down to $ 4.5 billion. We built the economy despite criticism. We allocated money for health.
They opposed when we planned to give tabs to students. If tabs had been given, children would have benefited during the pandemic,” the UNP leader said.
The former Prime Minister said that no development was taking place and investors were leaving the country. He added that the government had requested a loan of US $ 2 billion from India and China but it would be disappointed.
Govt. will implement PCoI recommendations, but won’t ban BBS
Sohan…adapting to the ‘new normal’
Only reason for vesting Muthurajawela under the UDA
7-billion-rupee diamond heist; Madush splls the beans before being shot
Unfit, unprofessional, fat Sri Lankans
The Burghers of Ceylon/Sri Lanka- Reminiscences and Anecdotes
news6 days ago
Sri Lanka placed third at Gladiators World Youth Scrabble Championship
Features5 days ago
2019 Easter Sunday Carnage: An Intelligence Perspective
news4 days ago
Lord Naseby asks why Adele not prosecuted in UK for child recruitment
news3 days ago
Geneva HR vote:
news6 days ago
PCoI report on Easter Sunday carnage: AG won’t be given ‘sensitive’ volumes
news6 days ago
UNHRC efforts to target SL armed forces:Govt. may contemplate new laws, constitutional safeguards
news5 days ago
Massive revenue loss: Eyebrows raised over delay in responding to House query
Sports6 days ago
Namal’s faux pas