ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is aiming to keep Coronavirus infections below 500 in April with restrictions on the movement of people and brining in wider testing of high risk groups and the wider population, a senior health official said.
“What we are trying to do is take steps to keep infections below 500 in April,” Anil Jasinghe, head of Sri Lanka’ Health Service told a privately run Derana TV.
Statistical projections had indicated a 130 patients by April 04, but the number had already been exceeded, he said.
Sri Lanka has confirmed 151 patients by April 02 and 21 have recovered.
By April 17, one projection had forecasted 300 by April 17 if there were ‘leaks’, Jasinghe said.
“If we do take this lightly the infections may rise to 1,400,” Jasinghe said.
Sri Lanka is making all efforts to keep numbers below 500 but is making arrangements to receive more patients if there is an increase in numbers, he said.
Sri Lanka is readying more hospitals to accommodate a spike.
Sri Lanka has imposed tight curfews in Sri Lanka to restrict movements, tighter than some other countries which are in taking measures to of the spread of disease by hunting contacts, such as Korea and Vietnam.
Sri Lanka however had lagged behind in testing people, unlike countries like Korea and Vietnam.
“We want to increase testing of contacts,” Jasinghe said. “We also want to test samples of the population near where we find Coronavirus patients.”
“We still do not have a situation of wide community transmission as yet.”
Countries like Vietnam have been testing all people in quarantine and all arrivals.
Sri Lanka discovered 10 Coronavirus patients after testing 19 contacts of an infected person in Puttalam.
Jasinghe said it was important for people to get to hospital early to recover.
Among the 21 persons have recovered including Priyantha Jayewardene, a doctor he said.
“Most important factor here is to get to hospital is early,” Jasinghe said.
Sri Lanka has had four fatalities so far.
He said most of the patients who had died had complications.
But the patient who died on April 02 had developed pneumonia very fast, showing that the virus could attack the body of some people suddenly, he said.