SLMA, GMOA, AMS and SMIC submit seven recommendations to Prez

The Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA), the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA), the Association of Medical Specialists (AMS) and the SLMA Intercollegiate Committee (SMIC) have informed President Gotabaya Rajapaksa of their concerns in relation to the current Covid-19 situation in Sri Lanka and have put forward seven recommendations to be implemented.

Stating that all healthcare resources are currently being overwhelmingly used as the number of patients requiring oxygen while waiting for beds in hospitals and Intensive Care Units (ICUs) is increasing exponentially, the group of organisations expressed that Sri Lanka might soon face an unprecedented disaster in the face of the current situation.

Citing other factors such as the backlog of hospital laboratories due to the rapid increase in PCR testing and diminishing resources to conduct tests, the group of organisations also stated that the stress faced by laboratories is immense.

Additionally, it was mentioned that due to the medical attention paid to the increasing number of Covid patients, patients suffering from other illnesses are having their care facilities curtailed, resulting in increased deaths of patients with non covid diseases.

Considering all these factors and more, the SLMA, GMOA, AMS and SMIC have submitted urgent recommendations to the President. They are as follows –

Implement strict restrictions of movements of people by very stringent implementation of the Extraordinary Government Gazette Notification on controlling COVID-19, published in october 2020.

Decide on implementation of selected lockdown processes of certain areas, based only on scientific evidence of the density caseloads. Restriction of inter district movement of people would also be necessary if and when indicated.

Maintain supplies to and services provided by selected essential service sectors and economic hubs under stringent monitoring for COVID-19 infections and scrupulous attention to preventative strategies.

Authorise the isolation of families at homes, along with home management of asymptomatic cases, while being carefully and assiduously monitored by health care professionals. This should be complemented by arrangements being made for early transfers of needy patients with pneumonia, to the closest designated hospitals.

Strengthen the curative sector by supplying adequate facilities such as beds, oxygen and ICU facilities.

Strengthen the laboratory services island wide for diagnosis of COVID-19 with PCR testing and also ensuring a steady and uninterrupted supply chain.

Implement widespread vaccination in adequate doses at the earliest possible opportunity.