Sri Lanka medical Professionals urge President to lockdown the country for two weeks

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Sri Lanka medical Professionals urge President to lockdown the country for two weeks


Fri, Aug 13, 2021, 09:27 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Aug 13, Colombo: The Council of the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) and the Intercollegiate Committee have urged President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to impose lockdown for a minimum of two weeks while maintaining essential services and the program for vaccination uninterrupted in order to prevent a vast escalation of COVID-19 infections and fatalities.

In a letter to the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday the Sri Lanka Medical Association noting the relentless escalation of the number of COVID 19 patients in hospitals as well as in the community and the grave impact that this has had on the healthcare system and on the public in general, during the last few weeks in Sri Lanka, called for urgent action to introduce movement restrictions.

“All hospitals that provide services for the care of COVID 19 patients have exceeded their full capacity and are left with no vacant beds available for any new COVID 19 patients,” the SLMA said.

The Association pointed out that as hospitals continue to expand space for COVID 19 patients endlessly, the services available for other diseases are also being severely compromised.

“The spread of the infection among healthcare workers has led to their falling ill leading to a severe shortage of staff. All these have affected the care given for COVID and Non-COVID patients, which is likely to lead to an invariable breakdown of the entire healthcare system and increasing death rates in the near future,” the SLMA cautioned.

“There is an urgent need for a rapid reduction in the number of cases of COVID 19, and this could only be achieved by severe mobility restrictions.”

Noting that vaccination significantly reduces severe disease and death caused by COVID 19 infection, the professional association pointed out that while certain vaccines such as Moderna, Pfizer-bioNtech and AstraZeneca evoke a significant protection following a single dose of the vaccine, a single dose of Sinopharm provides no protection until two weeks after a second dose is given.

“As there is a need for rapidly inducing immunity in high risk individuals such as those with comorbidities and in older people over 60 years, we consider vaccinating older people and people with comorbidities with the above-mentioned vaccines would save more lives,” the SLMA said.

Considering these factors the, SLMA urged the President to implement the following steps urgently.

• To declare a very severe mobility restriction amounting to a lockdown for a minimum of two weeks while maintaining essential services and the program for vaccination uninterrupted.

• To allocate vaccines that provide some immunity even with a single dose to all elders and to people with comorbidities.

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