GMOA warns Sri Lanka on verge of facing community spread

By Vyshnavy Velrajh

The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) warns Sri Lanka is on the verge of facing a community spread of the coronavirus.

GMOA General- Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge told Colombo Gazette that the current outbreaks in Minuwangoda and Peliyagoda are leading to a community spread.

As per the World Health Organization (WHO), multiple clusters in a country which are not connected to one another will be considered as a community spread.

However, the Ministry of Health claims there is no community spread as the new clusters being detected currently are linked to either the Minuwangoda or Peliyagoda clusters and do not fit the definition of the WHO, Dr. Aluthge explained.

He further said if a community spread occurs there could be a drastic change in the current situation, leading to a higher death toll over the next 2- months.

As a result, the GMOA has urged the Government to take necessary measures to prevent a community spread of the coronavirus.

Dr. Haritha Aluthge said the GMOA has requested the Government to immediately implement a zonal lockdown and to impose restrictions of movements between borders.

The highest number of coronavirus patients have been reported from the Gampaha and Colombo districts since the latest outbreak.

Despite the Government being able to contain the ‘first wave’ of the virus, it will face difficulties in tackling the current ‘second wave’ as the clusters detected are large scale.

The magnitude of the clusters is exhausting hospital staff as well as exceeding the current capacity of the healthcare sector, which could lead to more deaths, Dr. Aluthge said.

Pointing out that the WHO too has warned that the next two months are critical in the battle against COVID-19, Dr. Haritha Aluthge said that discussions are underway with relevant stakeholders to strengthen the measures with regard to the containment of the virus.

He added that the GMOA is strongly advising the Government to adhere to its suggestions in order to prevent a community spread and an island-wide lockdown in the near future. (Colombo Gazette)

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