A meeting between President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and medical experts representing various fields was held at the Presidential Secretariat, yesterday (09) with the aim of obtaining much needed expert medical opinion on how to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country promptly.
During this meeting the steps that have been taken by the government, security forces and the health sector officials to prevent the spread of coronavirus as well as the steps that should be taken in the future, were discussed at length.
The specialists pointed out the importance of conducting investigations on groups that were in close contact with infected persons and who have had contacts in two stages further.
Even though there are sufficient coronavirus test kits available at present, President Rajapaksa instructed the health authorities to take necessary steps to acquire more test kits in order to face any situation.
The group of specialist doctors commended the President’s quarantine programme launched with the aim of preventing the spread of the virus.
Doctors said that further strengthening of the existing quarantine process is the most effective approach to prevent the spread of the virus.
The experts stressed the importance of protecting areas where the virus has not spread into. They were of the view that spread of the virus to those areas as a result of travelling by the people from the affected areas should be stopped.
The Doctors said that the first step is to ensure that everyone stays at home to the extent possible following the ‘’Panchayuda” system. The “Panchayuda” approach includes the use of face masks when leaving the house, avoid touching the face, maintaining a distance of one meter at all times, and hand washing.
Experts, Universities, Technology Institutions, Individual Groups have made a number of discoveries regarding COVID-19. It was also discussed to promptly conduct researches into those findings at professional level.
The President inquired about persons who run the risk of being infected with coronavirus speedily and what measures should be taken to protect these vulnerable groups.
Doctors stated that people with diabetes, asthma and heart diseases need to be vigilant and they should take the medication as prescribed by the physicians. They also emphasized the importance of abstaining from smoking. The expert team also pointed out the importance of drinking liquids to maintain throat’s moisture.
Secretary to the President, Dr. P.B. Jayasundara, Chief Adviser of the President, Mr. Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary Defence Major Gen (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne, Chief of Defense staff and Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Acting Inspector General of Police , C.D. Wickramaratne, Former Governor, Dr. Seetha Arambepola, Director General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe, Specialist doctors Vajira Senaratne, Ananda Wijewickrama , Prof. Sarath Jayasinghe,Prof. Arjuna de Silva, Dr. M.C. Weerasinghe, Prof. Neelika Malavige, Prasad Katulanda, Prof. Vajira Dissanayake, Prof. Ranjani Gamage, Kumuduni Ranathunga, Amitha Fernando, Indika Lanerolle and Jude Samantha participated at the meeting.