An extension of the lockdown up to 2 October will save 10, 000 lives while a shorter duration will save 7500 lives.

The University of Monash made these projections after analysing Sri Lanka’s current Covid trajectory.  

Meanwhile the Independent Technical Expert Group (ITEG) which has been meeting regularly to assess the country’s Covid situation is calling for an extension of the stringency measures and their strict enforcement to ensure public compliance.  An extension will also be a respite for the health system to recover from the pressure they are under.  Hospitals are currently at full capacity and critical supplies including oxygen, are low. An increasing number of health workers including doctors and nurses are getting infected with the virus.  

The ITEG is also pushing for accelerated vaccinations and a social support system for vulnerable populations.

During their latest meeting on 26 August the ITEG observed that the number of people dying from Covid is increasing faster than projected and that clinicians working in hospitals have noted a rise in the severely ill.  There is concern about the virus now spreading within homes.  

Sri Lanka’s Covid crisis is at a critical juncture. Nearly 90 percent of the samples sequenced have shown that the Delta variant which is highly transmissible with a shorter incubation period, has spread beyond the western province to other provinces.

The ITEG also made observations about how the country’s economy will be affected by an extension of the stringency measures.  According to a projection by Imperial College, London, the economic impact in monetary terms between a 10- day, four week and six week lockdown will vary between $1.12 bn, $1.67 bnand $2.22 bn.  An extension of the stringency measures will also help Sri Lanka’s current classification to move from red to green by the end of this year.

The projections of both the University of Monash and Imperial College were key considerations in the ITEG’ recommendations.

For the ITEG’s full statement:20210826. 6th Expert Group Recommendations FINAL



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