Sri Lanka’s health system has been exhausted as almost all hospitals have run out of beds to treat the rising number of patients infected with the Delta variant of the COVID-19, the Daily Mirror learns.
Hospitals are functioning at maximum capacity while the need for oxygen has also risen considerably, leading to fears if the continuous demand of oxygen can be met. According to sources, some of the big national hospitals have sought assistance from the base hospitals to transfer patients, but they have been informed that base hospitals are also functioning at full capacity. Doctors fear the worst in the coming days as the Delta variant seems to have spread in more areas than what is being reported.
Still talks of a lockdown have not been placed on the table, but some medical experts believe that if the health system remains exhausted and if a higher number of patients continue to be infected by superspreaders, then an appeal may be made to shut down the country again. However, many officials believe this is not a practical option considering that Sri Lanka is just recovering from over a month-long islandwide travel restriction.
People, above the age of 30 years have been urged to get vaccinated, but there have been cases of fully vaccinated people also being infected with the COVID-19. However the symptoms in these patients noted so far, are mild and not severe.
“We need to prepare for this wave as there may be superspreaders of the Delta variant.we urge people to follow all health protocols and avoid gathering in public and strictly follow the guidelines. Do not let your guard down,” a senior health official said.
Sri Lanka is jabbing close to 200,000 to 300,000 people per day but 600,000 people in the worst affected Western Province still await their second doses of the Astrazeneca. The government which earlier announced that over 1 million doses would arrive from Japan through the WHO’S Covax facility on July 21, now say that the shipment may arrive later next week. No confirmed date has been given.the CMC has assured that those in the Colombo Municipal Council limits will receive their doses as soon as their stocks arrive.
Among the 600,000 are those working in the corporate sector as well as the business community who desperately await their second jabs amidst the wave caused by the Delta variant.
The Health Ministry yesterday announced that the number of people infected with the Delta variant had risen to 68, but health officials say these are only from certain samples.