(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The Covid Technical Committee of the Ministry of Health convened an emergency meeting chaired by Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle, State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics, and COVID Disease Control, at the Ministry of Health today (11).
The Covid Technical Committee convened urgently today to review the current methods used for managing the third Covid wave in Sri Lanka and to discuss new measures to be taken.
The Committee paying special attention to the rate of Covid-19 spread in the third wave, risk level of propagation, PCR Efficacy, quarantine, hospitalization, treatment, oxygen level, and mortality rate discussed the action to be taken in this regard.
Accordingly, the methods used were reviewed and the current quarantine method was re-examined.
The Committee focused on re-activating the guidelines that had been implemented earlier, instead of the previously revised quarantine system, given the current risk situation.
They focused on establishing a Monitoring Mechanism to monitor the entire process of Covid management and decided to obtain the services of medical graduates for this purpose.
The need to set up a Telephone Monitoring System was discussed. Through this, it will be possible to provide information and advice to the public on a regular basis.
The Committee also focused was on predicting the oxygen requirement in the face of the third Covid wave. Currently, 25% -28% of reported infections are symptomatic, and about 17% of patients are found to be in need of oxygen. It has been identified that about 4% -5% of them have to be referred to the ICU.
The Committee also decided to develop a testing strategy to prevent delays in the PCR testing.
Expressing her views, the State Minister said that priority should be given to formulate a proper admission criteria for hospitals. They also need to develop a formal system for transferring criteria as well as discharge criteria.
Special attention was also paid to the issuance of a series of Public Health Guidelines on how to act in the event of severe travel restrictions or complete isolation.
Dr. Sunil de Alwis, Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Health, Dr. Asela Gunawardena, Director General of Health Services, Dr. Lal Panapitiya, Deputy Director General, Dr. Sudath Samaraweera, Director of the Epidemiology Unit, Dr. Nihal Abeysinghe, President of the Association of Community Health Specialists, Dr. Pradeep de Silva, President of the Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Dr Ananda Wijewickrama of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, and many other medical experts participated.