Association of Medical Specialists AMS Sri Lanka requests an urgent stricter lockdown. We, as the Association of Medical Specialists are gravely concerned about the imminent surge of COVID19 positive patients to catastrophic proportions. While acknowledging the efforts made by the government and the Ministry of health for getting ready to handle massive influx of patients, we wish to stress that no country in the world has been able to control the pandemic by expanding bed strength, oxygen supply, ventilators or ICUs. This is a temporary and quite expensive solution useful only in managing the symptomatic.

Had improved infrastructure been the answer, no developed country would have had such high caseloads or fatalities that we have seen in the recent past. Sustainable, long lasting and speedy solution would be adherence to accepted social, behavioral and hygienic preventive measures known to all to reduce and eventually to stop transmission. As all individuals do not follow the advice of health care professionals, time is ripe to modify their behaviour by imposing certain restrictions. This view is shared by the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) and other medical academic bodies, two world renowned Sri Lankan scientists, Dr Malik Pieris and Prof. Kamani Mendis and another wider group of experts (all the letters are attached).

We believe that although such measures could bring greater hardships mostly to poorer segments of the society, scientific methods should be adopted for an effective and productive outcome at this critical juncture. We plead all stakeholders involved in controlling the current pandemic to consider longer and strategic lockdown protocols (minimum of 14 days continuous) based on expert advice, before it is too late.