The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) has warned of the risk of a possible second wave of the coronavirus in Sri Lanka.
The GMOA pointed out that the number of COVID-19 patients reported world over has surpassed 10 million, while the death toll has crossed 500,000.
Issuing a press release, the GMOA said that Sri Lanka was able to successfully contain the spread of the virus, due to members of the GMOA joining hands and working together with members of other medical boards irrespective of the dangers posed to their lives.
The measures taken by the President, Government, Tri-forces, Police and various parties in this regard are commendable, it said.
The GMOA said the Ministry of Health has assured that there are no more COVID-19 infected patients being reported from within the society, and it is essential to further confirm the development and build faith among the public.
The Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health has been repeatedly informed by the GMOA that it is imperative to conduct at least 68,000 PCR tests per month to maintain the containment of the virus in the country.
During a discussion with the Secretary to the Ministry of Health yesterday (29), the GMOA requested to take necessary measures to reach the maximum capacity to conduct the large volume of PCR tests suggested by the Doctors, the GMOA further said.
The Government Medical Officers Association further pointed out four ways which could contribute to the second wave of the coronavirus in Sri Lanka.
- Foreign nationals entering Sri Lanka through airports or ports
- An outbreak within people placed in quarantine centers
- Through patients admitted in hospitals
- People who come into direct contact with the persons from the above three clusters
The GMOA said the second wave can be prevented if the above mentioned four clusters are efficiently monitored and managed.
Attention was also focused on the following with regard to the Government’s decision to reopen airports in August to revive the Tourism industry, it said.
1.The tourism industry, which is being reopened to strengthen the economy affected by COVID-19, must be done in a manner that does not cause a health risk in the country.
2.The global coronavirus pandemic and the current situation in various countries must be taken into consideration.
- Prior to reopening the tourism industry, a suitable time period and countries from which tourists are to be allowed to enter the country, must be taken into consideration.
- Review the current guidelines issued by the Sri Lanka Tourism development Authority for necessary amendments.
- In the event tourists arrive in the country,
- The manner in which tests are to be conducted on them
- Whether or not to be placed in quarantine centers
- Permission for tourists arriving alone and in groups
- Identifying hospitals to operate as treatment facilities for infected tourists
- Tracing of contacts in the event a tourist is found to be infected
The Government Medical Officers Association has appointed a special committee to inform the Ministry of Health and Government within the next 14- days on the issues surrounding the above mentioned key points and other issues relating to the reopening of the tourism industry.
The GMOA further said it hopes the Ministry of Health and the National Election Commission will take stringent measures against politicians who use cigarettes and alcohol for election related activities during the upcoming Parliamentary polls. (Colombo Gazette)