- One week shutdown among recommendations
The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) has proposed to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa several drastic measures, including a one-week shutdown, to control the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The GMOA said its Executive Committee came up with the suggestions after having considered the prevailing status of COVID-19 and urged the President to take the following steps with immediate effect.
1. Shut down all ports of entry (airports and harbours).
2. Extend public holidays to cover the entire week and prevent unnecessary movement and public gatherings.
3. Centrally coordinated vigorous measurers for contact tracing and monitoring, utilising Medical
Officer of Health (MOH) offices, Grama Niladharis, the Armed Forces and Police.
4. Provide adequate protection (PPEs, etc.) to government and private sector healthcare staff.
5. Postpone all non-emergency healthcare services at government hospitals.
The GMOA letter, which was signed by its President Dr. A.B. Padeniya and Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge, said these measures were carefully thought out by studying the experiences of China and Singapore, which succeeded in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.
In contrast, Italy, which failed to adhere to the above steps in a prompt manner, failed to control the pandemic with disastrous consequences to its citizens as well as becoming a threat to the rest of the world. Studies have shown that 80% contact tracing is absolutely necessary for preventing the spread of the present pandemic.
Furthermore, containing the disease is the only path available to Sri Lanka as the country’s ICU services, including ventilator support which is necessary to treat patients with advanced COVID-19, are already at maximal utilisation with virtually no reserves.
“We as a responsible professional organisation, which highly values human life, expect Your Excellency to respond to the above proposals positively and promptly,” said the letter.