It is prudent, says the Association of Medical Specialists to act as though there is community transmission of COVID-19 and enforce strict restrictions to contain the spread of infection before it is too late.

The Association is asking the government to consider as vital the  banning of “public gatherings including political rallies, tuition classes and review and re-adjust the time table of school reopening and re-impose restrictions for public transport etc.’

In a press release dated July 14, the Association states that expanding PCR testing of at-risk groups and conducting random community testing too is crucial.   The Association further states that active contact tracing as well as limited lockdowns should be enforced without hesitation.

The escalation of COVID-19 positive patients these past several days and the geographical spread of the infection, says the Association gives rise to the assumption that community spread is imminent if not already established.

Meanwhile the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) releasing a press statement a few days ago stated that the country has been placed in a vulnerable position regarding the spread of COVID-19 as key measures necessary to contain the virus have not been applied.  The SLMA points out that the country is behaving similarly to the pre-COVID era.

The established healthy behaviour patterns disappeared, says the release following the quick relaxation of control measures, which led to the assumption that the threat of COVID-19 was over.  That false notion was harmful, and makes reverting to healthy behaviour styles difficult.

The SLMA, like the Association of Medical Specialists   points to the over-relaxation of restrictions at public gatherings, on public transport, opening up of recreational activities and similar acts which led to people believing that there was no necessity to adhere to the controls imposed.

Says the Association of Medical Specialists, “We should never ignore the fact that our existing health care capacity with its limitations will not be able to meet national treatment requirements.  It will be far worse when it comes to intensive care.’

Both associations acknowledge that the health and security establishment performed very well, in containing the spread of the virus in the early stages.  The SLMA stated that the ‘Trace, Test, Treat” approach became the envy of the world.

However, it says the regressive steps taken since, could result in a catastrophic situation, while the Medical Specialists Association urges the government to take serious note on the current status to act fast, not pretending there is no crisis.’


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