Doctors expressed serious concern as to whether Sri Lanka can afford to go into another lockdown, should there be a fifth Covid-19 wave.
Media Committee Member of the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA), Dr. Chamil Wijesinghe, speaking to the media yesterday (3), warned that Sri Lanka would not be able to face another lockdown if the Covid-19 situation spiralled out of control with the present economic crisis. There was also a question as to whether the health service too would be able to bear the strain in such an event.
“Health services would also be affected by the coronavirus. Therefore, there is a serious question as to how far the health service would be able to sustain the weight of a disease burden,” he warned. The Union member called for the Health Ministry to create public awareness with regard to the real situation of Covid-19 in the country.
He said there had been a question as to whether the citizens had been aware of the coronavirus situation in Sri Lanka during the four waves of the infection experienced during the past two years.
“There were large-scale discussions, speculations and accusations regarding data collection, statistics of the number of infected patients, and the daily deaths. If the public had been aware of the real situation in the country, they may have been more careful about maintaining good health practices.”
He said the Health Ministry should take action at least now to communicate the true situation with regard to the infection to gain public support in controlling it.
Dr. Wijesinghe said measures should also be taken to get the required technical support needed to control and prevent a disease spread. Specialist advice should be sought from those in the related field. Advice should be called from persons in epidemiology, disease control, with regard to the coronavirus infection. “Necessary policy and technical decisions should be taken through a specific consultative process and implemented as soon as possible,” Dr. Wijesinghe said.
By Dilanthi Jayamanne