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Covid-19 : SLMA makes recommendations

The Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) and the Intercollegiate Committee representing all medical professional colleges and associations put forth recommendations to contain the current Covid-19 outbreak. 

The recommendations are as follows.

  1. General considerations

  • Strengthen the Epidemiology Unit by providing more human resources, expertise, and funding
  • Epidemiological predicting, forecasting, and mapping to plan preventive and management strategies
  • Revise the patient admission and discharge criteria considering limited resources available
  • Optimal and rational use of information technology for contact tracing and surveillance
  1. Management of patients

  • All PCR positive cases have to be institutionalised, but not necessarily at hospitals. Large halls or dormitories with good ventilation can be converted as isolation centres. This will reduce the burden on the healthcare system and the hospitals
  • National-level hospitals should be reserved to maintain tertiary care
  1. Restriction of mobility

  • In all the affected areas, mobility needs to be restricted while maintaining essential economic and service activities. All regulations in the recent gazette must be strictly applied
  • It may be necessary to completely isolate affected economic centres such as free trade zones (FTZs) and ports of entry while maintaining economic processes, supply chains, and essential services
  1. Ensuring co-ordination

Co-operation between directorates, advisory bodies, expert groups within the Ministry of Health, with security forces, task force, and professional bodies

  1. Quarantine process

  • The health sector must have the key decision-making power regarding the quarantine process
  • Health professionals should base the decisions on a risk assessment process
  1. Ensuring trust and confidence of the general public

  • There is a need to strictly enforce guidelines for media reporting on Covid-19 
  • Stigmatisation and criminalisation must be avoided
  • Maintain supply chains and provision of essential services