Covid upsurge can be controlled – GMOA
By Dilanthi Jayamanne,Chamara Amarasuriya and Chathura Deshan Liyanage
The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) emphasised, the present COVID outbreak could be controlled if quarantine regulations are properly implemented.
Executive member of the GMOA, Dr. Prasad Colombage told a Media briefing yesterday (28) in Colombo, since there was no intention of subjecting the country to a lockdown at this moment, the public should be given accurate information on risk areas.
Dr. Colombage also said that if people can remain in their homes and go out only if absolutely necessary, it will be possible to control the spread of the COVID outbreak.
Speaking further he said when considering countries such as New Zealand, they did not prioritise the vaccine, instead they controlled the spread throughout the country with the discipline of the people.
Dr. Colombage said, “Even though ICU capacity has not reached its maximum as yet, we have to increase the capacity from now on. Although, there is no problem about Oxygen reserves at present, there are problems with regard to Oxygen cylinders. It is important that these problems are resolved. We still have time to prevent the spread of the virus. Using that time suitably is also important. Capacity at treatment centres is reaching its limits. It is necessary to focus on increasing the capacity further and necessary to reduce congestion in Intensive Care Units. PCR testing too should be increased”.
Meanwhile, a total 43 students from 28 schools in the Galle District were diagnosed with COVID-19, the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) said.
Meanwhile, steps were taken to permit only buses and ambulances on the Southern Expressway to exit from the Kottawa interchange from 6 a.m. yesterday (28), after three employees serving at the particular interchange tested positive for COVID-19, Chairman of the Road Development Authority (RDA), Chaminda Athaluwage said.
He said that all other vehicles would be instructed when issuing tickets to exit from either Athurugiriya or Kahathuduwa.
RDA Director General, Sardha Weerakoon said however that the gate at the particular interchange would remain open however for vehicles to enter the Southern Expressway but tickets would not be issued at that point, he noted.
The Head of the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO), Gen. Shavendra Silva negated rumours that the country was to be locked down following the detection of the more virulent variant from the United Kingdom (UK) in Sri Lanka. Only areas which posed a risk would be isolated, he noted.
Gen. Silva said that several more Grama Niladhari Divisions (GND) had been isolated however. They included Wellawaya Urban Council area, Weherayaya and Kottamagambokka GNDs in the Wellawaya Police Division and the, Rahathangama GND in the Police Division of the Moneragala District, Kumarigama GND in the Uhana Police Division of the Ampara District, and the Alugolla GND of the Naula Police Division in the Matale District were isolated.
The highest number of COVID-19 cases diagnosed on a single day was reported on Tuesday (27) when 1,111 persons tested positive for the virus, the Government Information Department (GID) said. A total 674 cases tested positive for the virus from the Peliyagoda, Divulapitiya and Prison clusters. Following which another 422 were recorded subsequently from the same clusters. 15 persons were repatriates. This totalled the number of COVID-19 cases in Sri Lanka to 103,487.
The COVID-19 death toll increased to 655.
Meanwhile, an official of the Health Ministry said that the administration of the second dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca COVISHIELD vaccine commenced yesterday (28) with frontline health workers and tri-forces engaged in control on prevention of the viral infection being given priority.
The vaccine was administered at Community Centre situated at Colombo 10, Darley Road and the New Bazaar Maternity Hospital opposite the Sugathadasa Stadium.
Also the Sri Jayewardenapura University was conducting research on the immunity following the first dose of the vaccine. He noted that blood samples had been obtained for this purpose, the official said.
The official said there were 300,000 doses of the vaccine remained to administer the second dose of the COVISHIELD vaccine. He noted that arrangements had been made to issue the second dose of the vaccine from the Central Stores of the Health Ministry to all parts of the country to be administered to frontline workers.
The National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) said that 1,451 more cases of COVID-19 were recorded yesterday (28).
The Centre said that six more COVID-19 deaths had also been recorded increasing the number of fatalities to 661.