During the next fortnight: High possibility of COVID-19 cases hitting 3,000 - GMOA
By J.T. de Silva and Dilanthi Jayamanne
The Government Medical Officers' Association (GMOA) has warned that there is a strong likelihood of the number of COVID-19 infected patients rising to 3,000 during the next fortnight.
They further warned that if urgent measures are not taken to control the infections nationwide, the country would be forced to watch its citizens succumbing to the deadly virus one by one.
GMOA General Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said that the main reason for this situation is the public converging in towns in their numbers, the moment the curfew is lifted for a few hours in certain Districts, and their reluctance to maintain social distancing.
He said that social distancing has taken place around 80 per cent in the Districts of Colombo, Kalutara and Gampaha, where the curfew has been imposed indefinitely.
He stated that this same principle should be applied to other districts as well.
Dr. Aluthge added that the Government must take prompt measures to prevent people from converging at economic centres and at fish stalls in large numbers.
Assistant Secretary of the GMOA, Dr. Naveen de Soyza, yesterday (31), lamented that several Government hospitals are facing a dilemma, owing to patients infected with COVID-19 concealing the true nature of their ailment.
Dr. de Soyza said that if patients showing symptoms of the virus were more open with the situation and informed hospital authorities at least once they got to hospital of the true nature of their situation, medical personnel, wards and units would not have to be shut down. There have been three such incidents, namely at the Teaching Hospitals of Ragama and Kalubowila, as well as the Base Hospital of Negombo.
Dr. de Soyza said that such negligence on the part of those patients and their families had not only jeopardised the lives of patients and medical staff of those hospitals, but also those of the private medical institutions that they went to.
He urged patients suffering from any symptoms of COVID-19 to act more responsibly. Further, a speedy test would have to be carried out to gauge the situation of others who have associated with those patients and other victims of the virus. According to Army Commander, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, 27,000 persons had been identified so far as having associated with COVID-19 patients.
Dr. de Soyza said that a readymade kit was available in the international market to carry out the COVID-19 rapid test, which would help identify the magnitude of damage done by the irresponsible actions of COVID-19 patients.