- Hospitals, health institutions prepare to face future threats
- Strict measures prevented community spread
- Shifted to active surveillance for early diagnosis
By Easwaran Rutnam
Sri Lanka is institutionalizing preparedness to face future pandemics by learning from the coronavirus. Director General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe said that hospitals and other institutions are now being prepared to face future threats.
He was speaking during a webinar titled ‘COVID-19 Asian Recovery Stories’ where the United Nations in Sri Lanka convened a group of regional academics to share their evidence-based research with Sri Lankan policy makers, influencers in Government, the development community, private sector, civil society and the media, to formulate policy interventions that can be applied to Sri Lanka.
Initially we were on passive surveillance, but shifted later to active surveillance and that resulted in early diagnosis of these patients
Dr. Jasinghe said that the coronavirus patients currently in Sri Lanka are mostly Navy personnel and Sri Lankan returnees. He said that Sri Lanka was able to contain the spread of the virus among communities as a result of the strict measures it took.
“Initially we were on passive surveillance, but shifted later to active surveillance and that resulted in early diagnosis of these patients,” he said.
The Health Services Director General said that some other countries had experience in dealing with pandemics while Sri Lanka didn’t. However, now Sri Lanka has taken formidable steps to institutionalise preparedness for future epidemics.
“We are going to have the structures, hospitals and facilities and methods in place,” he said. Meanwhile, speaking on the launch of the unique convening platform, UN Resident Coordinator Hanaa Singer stated “In this current dynamic environment, being agile in identifying, contextualising, localising and applying fresh insights is vital for successful policy making.
- Coronavirus patients currently in Sri Lanka are mostly Navy personnel and Sri Lankan returnees
The UN in Sri Lanka convened experts to tap into such thinking and promote learning from public policy interventions closer to home.