Sri Lanka’s major doctors’ union Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) says that Sri Lanka is now at Community Transmission (CT) / WHO Situational Level 4 at present. Sri Lanka earlier listed Clusters of cases Alert Level 3.
GMOA says now Sri Lanka requires a new and stronger mechanism for management.
At present based on the WHO criteria Sri Lanka is at Situational Level 4. Additionally, the Delta variant has now entered the community and it is a variant with R value of 5 to 8. Considering these factors, it is evident that vaccination must be expedited.
However, this process is time consuming and development of immunity following the first dose takes at least a period of 2 months after the first dose and subsequently 3 to 4 weeks from the 2nd dose76.
Therefore, implementing a period of strict travel restrictions (targeting 80 % – 90% movement restriction) during this period where immunity is being developed in a large proportion of the population is financially prudent. Therefore, immediate steps must be identified to reduce both the case load and the death rate.
Therefore, in order to mitigate the current rising trend and to bring about a reduction in future caseload the following 4 actions must be adhered to:
- Strict travel restrictions and stepwise exit
- Vaccination of 70% of population
- Implementation of 3rd dose of vaccine
- Improving testing capacity
′′ Sri Lanka’s COVID Pandemic has reached 4th level. Vaccination is not scientific ′′ – GMOA
Whilst implementation of Home Care and island-wide vaccination strategies are significant steps to combat the current situation, a longer period of time will be taken for these steps to bring about reduction in case load. Home Care will bring about saving of resources for those in crucial need. When considering vaccination once 70% coverage is achieved, this will bring about a reduction in community transmission. Whilst it is essential that hospital capacity and resources be increased, it is evident the government does not have the capabilities to achieve this.