GMOA calls for urgent steps to prevent second wave

The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) has called for urgent steps to be taken to prevent a second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak in Sri Lanka.

In a letter to the Director General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe, the GMOA notes that the outbreak of COVID-19 cases at the Kandakadu Rehabilitation and Treatment Centre has
created a severe risk of a “second wave” of the COVID-19 outbreak in Sri Lanka.

The GMOA notes that 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 has called for the reinforcing of the three pillars namely political will, social capital and health capacity to control COVID 19, first as well as subsequent waves.

“We stressed the importance of extensive PCR testing as a tool for controlling COVID 19.
Furthermore, in the GMOA COVID – 19 Exit Strategy presented by the GMOA to His
Excellency the President, we stressed the importance of isolation of Contaminated
Zones (Zonal Lockdown) to prevent a spread,” the GMOA said.

In this context the GMOA has called for contact tracing using both the Ministry of Health (MOH) network and Military Intelligence, exploring every possible way of increasing PCR testing capacity to meet necessary demands, applying aggressive testing and Test, Test, Test (repeated testing) strategy to identify COVID-19 patients, isolating contaminated areas to prevent the spread to other areas (Zonal Lockdown), random sampling covering the entire country using scientific criteria to eliminate uncertainty of the COVID-19 status and compartmentalizing high risk institutions and gatherings to prevent mass scale

“We would like to emphasise 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. Towards this clear, accurate and uniform advice and guidelines should be published,” the GMOA said.

The GMOA strongly requested the Director General of Health Services to consider and act on the above suggestions in order to control the COVID- 19 pandemic and to prevent a catastrophic second wave. (Colombo Gazette)