June 18, Colombo: The government of Sri Lanka has taken measures to reduce the charges for the blood tests to identify dengue fever as the mosquito-borne disease has reached an epidemic level in the island.
Sri Lanka's Minister of Health Dr. Rajitha Senaratne announced that the charges for two blood tests to identify dengue have been reduced. Accordingly, one test has been reduced to 250 rupees and the other test to 1000 rupees, the state run radio announced.
The Minister said the government will take measures to regulate these charges under the Private Institute Regulatory Act. All private hospital laboratories and medical institutions have been informed regarding the new charges.
The Minister said an extensive national program is being implemented to control the spreading of the disease and the support of the three armed forces will be obtained.
A systematic program on waste management and spraying smoke for mosquitoes will be launched. The Cabinet has approved to recruit 1500 persons for this task. Action will be taken to obtain high standard spray machines from Germany, the Minister added. He emphasized that support and dedication of everyone is needed for the task.
Presidential Task Force on Prevention of Dengue and the Ministry of Health declared an hour every Friday from last week for cleaning of houses, public institutions, and private company premises.
According to the Epidemiology Unit, so far this year 63987 suspected dengue cases have been reported from all over the island compared to the 23,814 case reported for the same period in the Previous year. Nearly 200 deaths have been reported so far this year.