Private hospital in Ragama affected after patient detected with virus

By Vyshnavy Velrajh

Operations at the Melsta Hospitals in Ragama were affected after the detection of a COVID-19 patient.

The Public Health Inspector (PHI) in charge of Ragama told the Colombo Gazette that the General Manager of the hospital had tested positive for COVID-19.

The hospital was temporarily closed while PCR or COVID-19 tests were conducted on the staff and patients at the hospital.

The Health Ministry said that PCR tests were conducted on 48 people at the hospital.

Meanwhile, issuing a statement the hospital said the infected staff member who recently joined Melsta Hospitals – Ragama is currently being treated at a government hospital.

In light of these circumstances, Melsta Hospitals – Ragama has been actively taking all the necessary preventive and precautionary measures, under the close guidance of the Public Health Inspector (PHI) and Ministry of Health (MOH) of the Gampaha district.

Prior to commencing his employment at Melsta Hospitals – Ragama on 1st July 2020, the coronavirus-afflicted staff member, who was attached to another leading private hospital at the time, had visited the Kandakadu Rehabilitation Centre on a lecturing assignment, upon the request of the Ministry, the Statement said.

The Hospital further said after his visit, having learned that the Kandakadu area was marked as an at-risk Covid-19 location, the staff member had immediately and voluntarily undergone a PCR test at a reputed private healthcare institution, to which he had tested negative.

Subsequently, as a precaution, he had enrolled to be quarantined outside of Colombo, after which his next PCR test, which was conducted at the quarantine centre, had revealed a positive result.

He has since been admitted to a government hospital, where he is being monitored and remains in good health.

The Hospital further said that following these events, the management of Melsta Hospitals – Ragama spared no efforts in promptly and responsibly addressing the situation and ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the rest of its staff and most importantly, its valued patients and patrons.

Commenting on the prevailing situation at Melsta Hospitals – Ragama, Dr. Iraivan Thiyagarajah – Executive Director, Melsta Hospitals – Ragama stated: “In such situations, it is imperative that we act fast and with prudence and integrity, and the Management of Melsta Hospitals – Ragama has done just that. As always, the health and safety of our patients and customers, as well as that of our staff, is our first and foremost priority. Therefore, we have taken every measure and implemented all necessary protocols, in line with the advice and guidance extended to us by the PHI and MOH representatives. We have identified all first lines of contact within our staff, and these individuals are now being quarantined and strictly adhering to the rules and regulations prescribed by the PHI and MOH. With the Government authorities having overseen and approved our course of action in this regard, I would like to reassure our patrons in and around the Ragama area that the hospital is once again fully operational and completely safe for you to visit at any time.”

Melsta Hospitals – Ragama said it will continue its operations as usual, under the approval of the relevant Government authorities, and the hospital will continue to keep the public informed of any new developments, going forward. (Colombo Gazette)