Sri Lanka Experiences Spike in COVID-19 Infections Among Pregnant Women and Children

Sri Lanka Experiences Spike in COVID-19 Infections Among Pregnant Women and Children
Photo: Dinuka Liyanawatte/ Reuters, 2021.


Judit Kolbe 

Sri Lanka and Human Rights Researcher 

Global Human Rights Defence 

Sri Lankan health officials have documented a major and sudden rise in COVID-19 infections amongst pregnant women and children, next to a rise in overall COVID-19 cases in the country (Jayasinghe, C., 2022). According to health officials, the new infections are predominantly of the omiron-variant of the virus and the risks of developing serious complications and death are relatively low, due to, among other reasons, the vaccination (Samaraweera, B., 2022).

Senior consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology at the Castle Street maternity hospital, Dr. Sanath Lanerolle, attributes the sudden rise of infections to increased travel and public gatherings in December last year. Furthermore, he urges pregnant women to get the booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccination, stressing the vaccines’ harmlessness for the unborn baby (Samarakoon, P., 2022). Dr. Lanerolle warns pregnant women to be careful about COVID-19 as infections in later trimesters can cause serious complications (Samarakoon, P., 2022).

The Deputy Director General of Health Services, Dr. Hemantha Herath, stated that health officials will investigate the increase of the virus infections among children, and work to control the situation. While he acknowledges that opening schools inevitably increases the risk of infections among children, “[c]losing schools for a longer time is an injustice” to them (Jayasinghe, C., 2022; Samaraweera, B., 2022). 

Sources and further reading:

Jayasinghe, C. (2022, January 20). Sudden rise in Covid-19 cases in Sri Lanka; pregnant among infected. Economy Next. 

Samaraweera, B. (2022, January 31). Major rise in Covid among kids, pregnant women. The Morning. 

Samarakoon, P. (2022, January 29). Spike in COVID infections among pregnant women. The Island.