Sri Lanka public should avoid crossing district borders: Army Chief

ECONOMYNEXT – Members of the public should avoid crossing Sri Lanka’s district borders and residents in Colombo in particular should travel unless it is ‘very essential’ Army Chief Shavendra Silva, who head the island’s anti-Coronavirus task force said.

“We are asking the people to avoid travelling, especially at the border,” General Silva told Sri Lanka’s Derana Television.

“Especially in the Colombo District except for a very essential need do not cross the district border. Otherwise we will have to put restriction on the border.

“A lot of requests had already been made. What we are asking is to stay within your area (palatha).”

Overnight Sri Lanka imposed curfew in Homagama, Panadura and Moratuwa police areas in the suburbs of the capital Colombo.

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General Silva said the curfews were imposed after 42 were found in Moratuwa involving the fish trading community. Though only 10 were found in Homagama, the densely populated area was in the border with Moratuwa. Panadura was in the South of Moratuwa.

He said new cases were still being found also in curfew areas.

On October 27, 457 new cases were confirmed taking the total in the new wave to 4,939 and 06 deaths, the health ministry said. The total so far is 8,870 and 19 deaths.

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The head of the Sri Lanka’s Public Health Inspectors Union Upul Rohana had said in Colombo a major effort is being to keep control with conditions of almost community transmission emerging.

On October 27, 10 community health education staff of Colombo Municipality had been confirmed.

General Silva said PHIs were stretched in Colombo and Gampaha. In Gampaha they have been supplemented with additional staff.

“The PHI are working beyond their capacity,” General Silva said. “The military is helping as much as they can.

“There is one PHI for about 10,000 members of the public. They have been working for about a month now.”

Colombo Municipality’s Chief Medical Officer Ruwan Wijayamuni said the infected persons were in the frontlines of the battle distributing leaflets and helping in the effort.

A high capacity PCR machine had broken which was adding to delays in testing, General Silva said.

This week Sri Lanka stopped institutional quarantine of first (F1) contacts of a confirmed Coronavirus (F0) patient and started home quarantine.

In Colombo in some areas both F1 and F2 contacts are already infected when they get to the PHI Upul Rohana had said.

Vietnam researchers say in general there is a 6-day gap for contact tracers to isolate the one level before they infect the next based on the average incubation period trends.

Unlike Sri Lanka Vietnamese contact tracers solicit public support by publishing timelines of contacts in electronic media and websites allowing people to come forward or home quarantine.

The most successful countries in combating coronavirus such as Vietnam uses institutional quarantine.

Institutionalized quarantine reduces halts the spreading of Coronavirus within a household when a member who is a contact has not already developed the disease, reducing the pressure on hospitals observers say.

Since the disease is contracted first by the most active younger members of a household institutionalized quarantine stops the disease getting to older members reducing pressure on intensive care facilities.

In Korea home quarantine is used. However Korea has seen 461 deaths and 26,161 cases up to October 27 compared to 1,172 cases and 35 deaths in Vietnam.

Korea also has ECMO (mechanical heart lung machines) and CRRT (continuous dialysis) for older patients on whom mechanical ventilators are no longer effective. Vietnam also has ECMO therapy.

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General Silva has said that in underserved areas where there are high congestion and people share toilets or any house where health inspectors see a need, f1 contacts will be taken to institutional quarantine.

At the height of the crisis around in the first half of 2020, May Vietnam had over 40,000 f1 contacts in institutionalized quarantine compared to around 8,000 in Sri Lanka now. (Colombo/Oct27/2020)

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