Covid preventive strategies reviewed

The National Operations Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 (NOCPC) has reviewed the existing Covid preventive strategies implemented in Sri Lanka.

The NOCPC reviewed the strategies in view of the interim report submitted by the Independent Expert Panel appointed by Head of the Task Force Army Commander General Shavendra Silva.

The discussion centred around the panel report, compiled on the basis of the process of review, observations and recommendations, proposed improvements to the existing overall strategy, country level coordination, planning, monitoring and integrated decision-making process, information and data management and its sharing, risks involved in communication, testing strategy, clinical management/ hospital resilience, consideration for the current vaccination strategy, etc.

The panel conducted a series of consultations on a wide range of topics and issues, related to the COVID 19 response with delegates from relevant Directorates at Provincial and District levels and their technical heads, subject consultants in the Ministry of Health, the NOCPC said.

The Centre further said the proposed changes to the programme and strategies are based on four core concepts.

“It was suggested an integrated decision-making mechanism and joint operation coordination with transparent vertical and lateral communication as the key for well-coordinated efficient pandemic control were to be established while ensuring minimal transmission among internal staff reaching new normal life across all sectors in a realistic manner,” it said.

The NOCPC further said decisions on testing, contact tracing, isolation, quarantine, intermediate care and comprehensive clinical care need to be taken, based on the new evidence, ongoing location data analysis and global evidence synthesis needed to be considered as an integral part of the control strategy.

Control and management strategies should always consider the predicted pandemic scenario of the country with possible resource limitations, especially in the face of serious potential threat for work force burnout, the Centre added.

The discussion was co-chaired by State Minister Dr Sudarshani Fernandopulle, Secretary to Ministry of Health Major General Sanjaya Munasinghe, Head NOCPCO, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army General Shavendra Silva, and Director General of Health Services Dr Asela Gunawardana. (Colombo Gazette)