Government will not hide if COVID-19 has reached community spread stage – Pathirana

Ramesh Pathirana

With the rapid rise of COVID-19 patients and limited hospital beds fresh treatment measures were being adapted by the Government, a top official said yesterday, assuring that the Government would not hide announcing if the virus has reached community spread stage.

Co-Cabinet Spokesman Dr Ramesh Pathirana stated that as of Monday night 4,464 COVID-19 infected patients had been hospitalised, pointing out that the Government had identified the available hospital bed capacity was 5,000.

Therefore, the Government had decided to house those patients who are asymptomatic in the future at isolated facilities such as quarantine centres and hotels which have been repurposed to treat them under supervision of doctors and medical staff assigned to the new facilities. “The Government is consulting with the Ministry of Health and the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) to establish guidelines to manage patient care and wellbeing at the new facilities,” Dr. Pathirana explained.

Patients who show symptoms and are deemed to need specialist care will be hospitalized, he added. Dr. Pathirana downplayed concerns about the COVID-19 virus having reached community spread stage, pointing out that epidemiology specialists were not of the view that the situation has reached that level yet.

“If the epidemiology specialists say it has reached that stage, we as a Government will inform you. We will not hide such information,” Dr. Pathirana stressed.

Dr. Pathirana conceded that the capacity at established quarantine centres were reaching challenging levels, resulting in the Government’s decision to direct all first contacts of confirmed patients, who do not return positive test results to self-quarantine at home. The decision has been in effect since Monday.

(Source: Daily FT)