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Health staff shortage if situation worsens: Sudarshini

13 May 2021

By Dinitha Rathnayake   The country will soon have to confront the problem of a shortage of health workers, State Minister of Primary Healthcare, Epidemics, and Covid-19 Disease Control Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle said. Speaking at a government press conference yesterday (12), she said that if the pandemic situation gets worse than the current situation, the shortage of trained health staff would be a major issue to be dealt with. “It takes a long time to become a trained member of the health sector staff. For example, to be a doctor, it takes five years, while to be a specialist in the field would take 10 years. To be a nurse, it takes three years. So, how is it possible to have trained staff available with immediate effect? I urge the public to understand this situation and to follow the health guidelines.” As explained by the State Minister, the public has a huge responsibility to prevent Covid-19 by following the health guidelines. “Please wear two masks whenever you can. Keep your distance with the people near you. Stay at home. It is your responsibility to not spread this virus and to prevent it. We are facing an increase in Covid-19-positive cases. This is a huge challenge,” Dr. Fernandopulle added. The authorities can provide intensive care unit beds, normal beds, and oxygen, but the people should be careful, she further stressed. The risk for severe illness with Covid-19 increases with age, with older adults being at a higher risk at the moment, according to Dr. Fernandopulle. Meanwhile, Ministry of Health Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Sudath Samaraweera also confirmed the rise of Covid-19 cases. He added that the percentage of those showing symptoms has also increased.

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