News

Only 35 Covid-19 patients at National Hospital 

  • BY Pamodi Waravita

Colombo National Hospital Consultant Physician Dr. Upul Dissanayake yesterday (25) said that there are only about 35 Covid-19 patients currently receiving treatment at the National Hospital in Colombo, which is the country’s largest Covid-19 treatment centre.

“The Covid-19 situation has significantly improved now. At one point, the National Hospital in Colombo treated 700 Covid-19 patients, 200 of whom were on oxygen and 30 of whom were in the intensive care units (ICUs). Now, we only have about 35 Covid-19 patients and seven Covid-19 patients in the ICUs. Most of these patients are the ones who faced complications during the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic waves and were admitted previously. We are able to observe fewer complications in the recent Covid-19 patients who come to us. Thus, we are able to manage their symptoms more easily,” said Dr. Dissanayake while speaking at a Health Promotion Bureau (HPB) press conference held yesterday.

Dr. Dissanayake attributed this significant reduction in the number of Covid-19 patients seeking treatment at the National Hospital in Colombo to the successful vaccination drive that the country experienced over the past few months.

“However, we have experienced these positive times previously as well. The public should not live in fear but they should understand that proper behaviour will prevent the chances of another wave. The main thing is to not have super spreader events where many people gather in small spaces including weddings, funerals, parties, religious events (observance of sil, pooja offerings, perahera processions), and concerts in small halls,” he emphasised.

He added that public transport does impact the spread of Covid-19 and whilst admitting the practical limitations of maintaining social distancing in public transport, urged ventilation in public transport vehicles as much as possible.
Meanwhile, although the country reopened its primary schools with less than 200 students last week, reports show that attendance by both children and teachers were low. Commenting on this, HPB Director Dr. Ranjith Batuwanthudawa encouraged all parents to send their children to school, adding that children must benefit from peer learning and teamwork – both of which are limited during online learning sessions. 

Sri Lanka faced a severe spread of the Covid-19 virus during the months of August and September, and has currently experienced a total of 13,611 deaths due to the virus. Although some pandemic-related restrictions were lifted this month, inter-provincial travel restrictions are still in place.