Referring to the outbreak of COVID-19 cases at Kandakadu Rehabilitation and Treatment Centre, the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) on Monday requested the Government to use both the Ministry of Health (MOH) network and military intelligence to trace contacts.
In a letter to Director General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe, GMOA Secretary Dr. Senal Fernando also requested to isolate the contaminated areas to prevent the spread of the virus to other areas.
He said the situation at the Kandakadu Rehabilitation and Treatment Centre had created a severe risk of a “second wave” of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka.
"According to experiences of other countries, even those which controlled COVID-19 successfully, waves of outbreaks is the norm rather than an exception," the GMOA said.
"We stressed the importance of extensive PCR testing as a tool for controlling COVID 19," it added.
In this context, the GMOA suggested the following measures to prevent a “Second Wave” of COVID 19.
1. Contact tracing using both MOH network and Military Intelligence.
2. Explore every possible way of increasing the PCR testing capacity to meet necessary demands.
3. Apply aggressive testing and Test, Test, Test (repeated testing) strategy to identify COVID-19 patients.
4. Isolate contaminated areas to prevent spread to other areas (Zonal Lockdown).
5. Random sampling covering the entire country using scientific criteria to eliminate uncertainty of COVID-19 status.
6.Compartmentalizing high risk institutions and gatherings which will prevent mass scale spread.
Moreover, the GMOA emphasised the importance of enhancing “social capital” to control the present crisis as restrictions have been relaxed and the citizens are getting back to their day to day activities.
The GMOA requested Dr. Jasinghe to consider and act on the these suggestions in order to control the COVID- 19 pandemic and to prevent a catastrophic “Second Wave”. (Sheain Fernandopulle)