Only Solution is to Increase ICU Beds

Ministry of Health Sri Lanka

The Health Ministry said that 580 ICU beds are currently available throughout the country for treatment of critical COVID-19 patients.

“The only solution to the issue was to increase more ICU beds,” an official for the Ministry said.

The Homagama Base Hospital was forced to add its Premature Baby Care Unit and two more wards for the treatment of COVID-19 infected, with the influx of patients with the virus being treated at the hospital, Hospital Director, Dr. Janith Hettiarachchi said.

He noted that the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital was currently full with seven patients being treated. Another 10 patients were also being treated at its High Dependency Unit. There were five patients below the age of 15 being treated for the viral infection.

Currently, the hospital was handling close to 120 COVID-19 patients, he explained.

The number of COVID-19 patients reported from Divulapitiya, Peliyagoda and Prison clusters by 6.30 p.m. yesterday (25) topped 95,600, the Government Information Department said. A total of 783 more new cases had been diagnosed with COVID-19 by yesterday(25) evening at 9.00 p.m. bringing the total number to 95,746.

Authorities of the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) temporarily closed the lobby areas, at the Arrival and Departure sections to visitors yesterday (25) as a preventive measure in the ‘wake of COVID-19.’ The area would be closed to visitors until further notice, they announced.

A total of 20 pre-school students, in the Medawachchiya area of the Anuradhapura District, were quarantined after a teacher serving in the school was diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus, Regional Epidemiologist of the Anuradhapura Medical Officer of Health (MoH) area, Dr. Thejana Somatillake said.

Dr. Somatillake, responding to questions, said that the teacher’s mother too had contracted the viral infection. He noted however that the students had not shown any symptoms of the infection till now.

The Dambulla Economic Centre was closed for a period of three days from yesterday (25) in a bid to minimise the risk of COVID-19 spread. A medical spokesman at the Centre said that till now 40 positive cases of COVID-19 infected persons had been identified following PCR tests.

The Kelaniya Meegahawatta Police Station was temporarily closed with the Officer-in-Charge of the Station contracting COVID-19, a spokesman for the Police Station said. The services at the station would be temporarily conducted at the Nagarukkharama Viharaya situated close to the station.

The spokesman said that PCR tests were conducted on the contacts of the OIC while the station would remain closed until they receive the results of those tests. He noted that till such time services would be conducted with assistance of  Police personnel from other stations.   Meanwhile the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) said that a total of 969 cases had been diagnosed with the viral infection on Saturday (24). 38 of them were from amongst the repatriates while from amongst the locals the highest number of 251 was diagnosed from the Kurunegala District. Another 236 were from the Gampaha District and 194 from Colombo.

The total number of cases in Colombo District has increased to 32,918, Gampaha 19,280, Kalutara 6,977 and Kurunegala 5,493.

Adikarigoda, a Grama Niladharee area in Kalutara, was isolated on   Saturday (24) due to the increasing number of cases. The COVID death toll had increased to 644 by yesterday (25).

(Source: Ceylon Today – By Dilanthi Jayamanne, Priyasha Hettihewa and Habarakada S. Priyalal)