ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is seeing hospitalization delays in several districts as authorities scramble to provide extra beds and around 1,900 new patients are being confirmed, a frontline health official said.
“According to information, we have identified more than 100 patients still at home waiting for a hospital,” Secreatry of the Public Health Inspectors Union, Mahendra Balasooriya told EconomyNext.
“The number of patients still at home changes from day to day”
“According to our field officers many patients are at home until they are directed to hospitals. They
will be directed balancing the number of admissions and discharges from hospitals a day.”
Balsooriya said most of those patients have been identified in Colombo, Kaluthara, Kurunegala, Gampaha and Matale districts.
Dambulla in Matale district has been facing bed shortages for several days according to media reports.
Health Minister Pavithra Wanniaarachi said about 10,000 more beds will be added over the next two weeks, with the 13,800 dedicated hospital beds and treatment centres becoming full.
Health authorities confirmed 1914 patients on May 04, with the highest number of 542 in the Gampaha district followed by 531 patients in Colombo and 116 from Kaluthara.
Dicharges climbed to 944 on May 05. Confirmations which were around 150 a day before a super spreader New Year celebration in April had climbed to 1800 – 1900 a day by the first week of May.
It is not clear whether the numbers are reaching a plateau yet. PHIs successfully reduced an outbreak which started in September 2020, where the peak was around 900 cases a day.
However delays in test results are hindering contact tracing, Balasooriya said. Second level contacts are roaming around freely due to test delays he said. (Colombo/May05/2021)