Direct asymptomatic COVID-19 patients to select hotels, quarantine centres, orders President

ECONOMYNEXT – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has ordered health officials to direct asymptomatic COVID-19 patients to select locations such as hotels and quarantine centres in the future under expert supervision, co-cabinet spokesman Minister Dr Ramesh Pathirana said.

Speaking at this morning’s cabinet briefing, Pathirana said the president made the directive as the number of COVID-19 patients is reaching the initial capacity of 5,000 hospital beds.

Instructions have been issued to retain COVID-19 patients with complications in hospitals while directing asymptomatic patients, who amount to 75-80% of the total patient count, to non-hospital centres, he added.

Pathirna added that the decision was taken in accordance with the criteria formulated by the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) and other specialist doctors.

The announcement comes in the wake of a government decision yesterday to direct first contacts of confirmed patients to home quarantine as Sri Lanka’s military-run quarantine centres are reaching their full capacity.

The GMOA previously called for tiered treatment of patients where younger and mostly asymptomatic cases are kept at monitored treatment centres while older patients and those with underlying conditions are kept in hospital. (Colombo/Oct27/2020)

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