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Covid-19 patients : GPS mapping inaccurate

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) said the GPS mapping of Covid-19 patients done by the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health was inaccurate and not up to the expected standard.

In a letter written to Minister of Health Pavithra Wanniarachchi and copied to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Secretary to the Ministry of Health, and the Director General of Health Services, GMOA Secretary Dr. Senal Fernando stressed that the mapping was inaccurate due to the failure of the Epidemiology Unit to share necessary data with relevant parties.

Therefore, the GMOA has taken steps to develop a digital surveillance platform to achieve the above requirement.
In order to implement digital surveillance, the GMOA has requested the Ministry to facilitate a platform-hosting facility (web server), real-time PCR-positive data from all government and private laboratories, and details of close contacts.

He stated that considering the zonal lockdown and the dynamicity of the issue, it is mandatory to perform GPS mapping of patients and contacts up to the grama niladhari divisions.

“We are extremely disappointed to note that patient mapping is not performed up to the expected standards,” he stated.

Health Ministry Spokesperson Dr. Jayaruwan Bandara and Epidemiology Unit Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Sudath Samaraweera were not available for comment.