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Sri Lanka to explore immunity boosting capacity of indigenous meds to fight COVID-19: President’s Office

FILE PHOTO – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will explore the possibility of utilising indigenous medicine to boost immunity, among other measures, in its fight against COVID-19, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said.

Other measures include producing testing kits domestically, which according to the PMD has already commenced, to increase daily testing, enforcing strict hygiene and physical distancing etiquette at the workplace, and safeguarding the mental well-being of children in lockdown.

The PMD announced these measures in a statement issued last night on a discussion President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had yesterday with members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Prevention.Rajapaksa has requested to be kept informed of any hindrance to the promotion of the local products, the statement said.

The statement also noted that around 80% of the 159 Sri Lanka Navy personnel tested positive for COVID-19 have not shown any symptoms. A total of 997 Navy personnel have been subjected to PCR tests so far.

Quoting medical professionals, the PMD said the lack of outward symptoms was due to “enhanced immunity developed within the body”.

At the discussion, President Rajapaksa has said a comprehensive study needs to be carried out on the immunity boosting capacity of indigineous medicine. Research is already underway under the guidance of both indigineous and Western physicians, the PMD said.

Meanwhile, according to the PMD, Sri Lankan Pathologist Prof Malik Peiris, resident in Hong Kong, has noted that measures taken by the government to prevent the spread of the disease have “elevated Sri Lanka to the forefront in the battle against the virus”.

“A total of 21,000 PCR tests have been conducted so far and only 3% out of this figure has been confirmed as infected. Doctors pointed out this is a positive aspect of the quarantine process,” the PMD said.

Commending everyone including health and security personnel who have contributed to this achievement, the President said the momentum should continue.

The president also pointed out the need to formulate a specific plan deviating from the “old practice” when dealing with distinctive groups and people living in clusters.

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Extra vigilance is needed in monitoring the adherence to the recommendations prescribed by the government for state sector entities when they resume work, he said.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, meanwhile, touched on the importance of maintaining the mental well-being of children during the curfew period.

The PMD went on to say that doctors who took part in the discussion requested the task force to pay close attention to the standard of the chemicals used in disinfectants available in the market. The President, too, has instructed officials to investigate the quality of the hazmat suits used by health and security personnel engaged in quarantine activities. (Colombo/May1/2020)

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