He was silent for months. Authorities in Sri Lanka have blamed him for the re-emergence of corona. The water flows from a low place. Sri Lankan authorities are talking about the spread of the disease to half of the 2,600 corona virus cases, according to Prasad Dinesh. National news calls him ‘Kudda’. The only obstacle he has to overcome this stigma is his heroin-related history.
Dinesh Corona, 33, was positive for the virus last April and was sent to his village by Navy sailors as part of a military-led task force tasked with dealing with the epidemic. When they tried to force Dinesh to quarantine the relationship, chaos ensued, and a chain of events ensued with at least 1,100 additional corona virus infections.
Officials said it was all from one person: Dinesh.
Government officials blamed Dinesh on television and social media, referring only to him as “patient 206” and blamed him for at least three clusters of corona viruses. It also included 900 naval personnel who went to the Ja-Ela operational base, about 12 miles north of Dinesh’s village, Colombo.
However, Dinesh says that his drug addiction, which is considered a crime in Sri Lanka, makes him an easy victim.
“I do not accept that I am responsible for infecting many people, including sailors,” Dinesh told Associated Press after returning home after a month in hospital.
Before the epidemic reached Sri Lanka, the island was locked up and Dinesh worked as an auto rickshaw driver. But now he can’t find a job.
“When I realized I was patient number 206, no one offered me a job,” he said.
Police Media Spokesman Ajith Rohana said that Dinesh had prevented the Sri Lankan fight against COVID-19. “He is a turning point and has done great damage to our country,” Rohana said.
Authorities say Dinesh was arrested by villagers on April 5 in connection with a coconut theft and handed over to police. Dinesh did not deny that he and others had broken into a house in a nearby village to get coconuts that could be sold to buy heroin.
At the police station, Dinesh developed a fever as well as a leg injury, so the authorities admitted him to a nearby hospital, where he tested positive for the corona virus and remained there for 31 days. Police arrested and ordered the quarantine of Dinesh’s friends and more than 100 of his neighbors.
But not everyone agrees.
The Sri Lankan navy has sent sailors to assist health workers, fearing the virus could spread rapidly to populated areas. As the sailors entered, several of Dinesh’s companions panicked.
“They climbed trees, tried to jump over a fence, tried to bathe, tried to jump into a canal,” Admiral Jayanath Colombage, a former naval commander and member of the National Task Force, said in a televised interview on the fight against the corona virus.
Of the 28 people arrested and quarantined by the community, 16 tested positive. Two weeks later, some of the sailors involved in the operation also tested positive.
Navy spokesman Lieutenant Isuru Suriya Bandara said that the fully equipped naval personnel were quarantined and re-employed 21 days after the operation.
Infection of the first ship was reported on 22 April. He is on vacation in a town 140 miles northeast of Colombo. As a result, provincial health officials had to isolate 12 surrounding villages.
The next day another 30 sailors tested positive.
As the virus spread to sailors who had been on leave in various parts of the country, authorities ordered troops from all branches to report back to their bases.
About 4,000 sailors were quarantined in one camp and more than 200 of their relatives were taken to naval quarantine centers. For about two weeks, at least 15 villages in various parts of Sri Lanka were isolated and another 1,300 were subjected to self-quarantine.
Eventually, about 900 sailors in the Navy tested positive and another 50 infected people were part of that cluster. Authorities say there are at least 150 patients with the corona virus in the other two clusters where Dinesh has been blamed. At least 1,100 infections have been attributed to Dinesh.
It accounts for nearly half of the 2,665 casilos confirmed across Sri Lanka, including 11 deaths.
“what to do? Is Drug Abuse a Fault? He said, referring to his heroin habit.
Dinesh said he had been using heroin since 2002 but had never been “heavily addicted”. However, he used heroin regularly during the locking of the corona virus and stole money to buy heroin with several other heroin users.
Authorities have used the interest generated by the siege of Dinesh’s village to increase drug control in slums and urban flats. Authorities say about 300,000 – about 1.5% of the population – are addicted to drugs.
However, Dinesh says he is no longer part of that infamous group. One of the positive consequences of being infected with the corona virus was that his hospitalization helped him break his heroin habit.
He says he has been in pain for about two days. “I was not very upset because I was not very addicted,” he said.
“I have now completely given up drug use,” he said. “I don’t even smoke. I will always be with my two children now and play with them. I feel good.”
Photo / Eranga Jayawardena by .
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