Next wave imminent, take precautions – SLMA

The Sri Lanka Medical Association says that there is a high risk of another Covid-19 wave in Sri Lanka in the near future due to the removal of travel restrictions.

In order to avert such a situation, the SLMA issued a list of guidelines to be followed yesterday.

They emphasized that it is more important now than ever before, to take definite action to prevent another Covid wave.

In order to avert such a situation, the SLMA issued the following guidelines;

* Strict enforcement of existing laws and restrictions under very good supervision.

Although the Ministry of Health has issued acceptable and reasonable public health guidelines and regulations aimed at preventing the spread of Covid, it has been found that these measures are extremely lax in implementation and are not obeyed by the public. It has been found that many people do not wear masks properly and that social distancing in public places such as shops, public fairs, places of worship and funerals is not followed properly.

Therefore, the SLMA urged the government to take adequate steps to implement these regulations. It is essential to closely monitor and ensure that the health regulations issued by the Director General of Health Services are fully implemented.

* Third dose Pfizer booster for priority groups.

It has been confirmed that 7% of adults in Sri Lanka who received the Sinopharm vaccine have not developed adequate immunity against the Covid-19 virus. The reopening of schools and the removal of travel restrictions have significantly increased the risk of these adults contracting the Covid-19 virus in the current situation due to factors such as transmission of the virus through their grandchildren. These adults are more likely to become seriously ill and die from the Covid virus than other age groups.

The SLMA also noted that while those who received the first Covid jab with Covishield had to wait for over six months to receive their second dose, significantly reducing the efficacy of the vaccine.

As a result, they are at a higher risk of contracting the Covid-19 virus. Therefore, the third dose / booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine, should be given without delay to persons over 60 years of age, patients under 60 years of age with immunodeficiency and all healthcare professionals. This should be considered a top priority to prevent another wave of infections in the near future, the SLMA warned.

*Preventing outbreaks and infections.

“Enclosed environments in which people are most likely to live create high-risk conditions for Covid-19 infection. We therefore urge the Government to further delay the complete relaxation of regulations relating to public ceremonies by limiting the number of weddings, religious ceremonies, funerals, concerts, club meetings, etc. held in closed spaces,” the SLMA stated.

* Maintaining constant attention on people diagnosed with Covid

“In order to avert the next wave, it is vital to identify the increase in cases early. Careful monitoring of the level of Covid infection will allow the government to take immediate action. It is therefore important to strengthen the ongoing testing process for Covid-19. We therefore believe that the Ministry of Health will continue to conduct tests for COVD-19 in the community in a robust manner, and that it will be essential to strengthen the ‘Acute Respiratory Tract Infections’ (SARI) monitoring systems in the outpatient departments of all major hospitals,” the SLMA guidelines stated.

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