Prolonged closure of country could save 10,000 lives – expert committee
Fri, Aug 27, 2021, 11:01 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.
Aug 27, Colombo: Strict restrictions until the 18th of next month could save between 7,500 and 10,000 lives, according to an independent technical expert committee appointed by the World Health Organization’s Sri Lanka office.
The panel recommended that immediate action be taken to save lives and that the current restrictions be extended to September 18 and that the people be made to strictly comply.
More than 90 percent of the samples tested so far show that the delta strain of the new coronavirus has spread to the other provinces as well as Western Province, according to the committee’s latest report.
The Independent Technical Expert Committee, chaired by the Sri Lanka Office of the World Health Organization (WHO), met yesterday and released its new report, which includes key observations, technologies and recommendations.
According to the report, the delta strain of the new coronavirus is spreading rapidly and hospitals have reached full capacity. Also the number of health workers exposed to the virus has increased rapidly. The expert committee reports that stocks of essential supplies, including oxygen, are also low.
The virus is also spreading in homes, the report said.
The report points out that strict restrictions should be imposed in taking this situation into account and that the people should comply with it. In the meantime, the vaccination process needs to be accelerated.
It also says that economic recovery can be accelerated by strictly limiting the number of virus transmissions, spreads and deaths.
The panel said the extension of the current deadline to August 31 could reduce the number of deaths, and the extension of the lockdown to September 18 could prevent 7,500 deaths. The committee also said that extending the deadline to October 2 could prevent 10,000 deaths.
Sri Lanka’s mortality rate is one of the highest mortality rates in the world, according to the Committee.
These discussions are being facilitated by Dr. Palitha Abeykoon, Special Representative of Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Head of the World Health Organization and Consultant Specialist of the World Health Organization.
The expert committee is chaired by Dr. Alaka Singh, Sri Lanka’s Representative to the World Health Organization.
Dr. Vinaya Ariyaratne, Prof. Asitha de Silva, Specialist Dr. Padma Gunaratne, Prof. Saroj Gunaratne, Prof. Indika Karunatilake, Dr. Rajiva de Silva, Prof. Neelika Malavige, Prof. Kamini Mendis, Prof. Malik Peiris, Prof. Manuj Weerasinghe, Dr. Ananda Wijewick are members of the 14-member expert committee.
In addition, a group of doctors from the World Health Organization were also participating.