Extending lockdown useless if not done scientifically: Kumudesh

By Dinitha Rathnayake

Extending lockdown will be useless unless done scientifically, according to College of Medical Laboratory Science President Ravi Kumudesh.

Speaking to The Morning, he said the College has requested that 100,000 Covid-19 tests be conducted per day, but the Government only completed this amount after 10 days.

“On 4 September, health officials proceeded with 12,363 PCR tests. Every day, the number of PCR tests is getting lower and lower. People are seeking Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) kits at Pettah for much higher prices due to the unavailability of kits.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that Sri Lanka is the only country which proceeds with a number of lockdowns, and people are on roads during the lockdown as well. What kind of a lockdown is this?” he questioned.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) has recommended that the Government extend the lockdown for a further period, considering the number of human lives at risk.

The Inter-Medical College Committee, in association with the SLMA, has recommended that the closure could save 10,000 lives by 2 October.

SLMA President Dr. Padma Gunaratne and Inter-Medical College Committee Convenor Prof. Tamasi Makololuwa both said: “In order to create a conducive environment for tourism in the country, the number of patients reported per day should be less than 950, and the rate of Covid-19 patients confirmed by testing should be less than 2.5%.” 

The SLMA, which strictly enforces travel restrictions and health advice and recommends permits for agricultural and outdoor markets, says public transportation services, weddings, beauty salons, restaurants, clubs, and bars should not be reopened.

In addition, the SLMA recommends the delivery of a “booster” dose to boost the immune system of immunocompromised individuals.