ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will issue guidelines for confirmed asymptomatic COVD-19 patients to be quarantined or treated at home, Army Commander Gen Shavendra Silva said.
Health Services Director General Dr Asela Gunawardena will release the finalised guidelines to the public over the next two days, Silva told the privately owned Swarnavahini network today.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has advised health authorities to come up with a set of guidelines for home treatment, the army chief said.
State Minister for COVID-19 Control Dr Sudarshini Fernandopulle said May 16 that Sri Lanka will begin “home management” of asymptomatic patients at home starting today (17), as new confirmations outpaced the rate at which treatment centres could be built.
Patients developing respiratory difficulties will be hospitalized, she told reporters.
According to Gen Silva, however, patients will be grouped into three categories and Medical Officers of Health (MOH) will decide who should be treated at home.
“Not every confirmed patient will be treated at home. If anyone shows symptoms or if their condition is critical, they must be admitted to hospital,” he said.
Patients with symptoms that are not severe will be sent to intermediate treatment centres in the event they can’t be isolated at home. People who live in homes without an extra bathroom or live with elderly people must also check into an intermediate treatment centre to not spread the virus to the rest of the family, said Silva.
Thirdly, in the case of asymptomatic people who have the required facilities to isolate at home, a public health inspector (PHI) or MOH will recommend whether they need to go to a treatment centre.
The Health Services DG will go into detail on these recommendations in the guidelines, the army commander said.
Sri Lanka has confirmed 2,275 COVID-19 cases yesterday, continuing to put pressure on the health system. Twenty-one deaths were also reported yesterday, with the public was urged to work from home wherever possible.
The total under medical care rose to 21,208 on the morning of May 16 from 19,944 with 1,102 discharged during the day and 2,386 confirmed on May 15.
By the end of the day 23,483 were under medical care.
The 2,275 confirmed of which 2,212 were domestic, came with 27,183 tests being done.
Meanwhile the four-day movement restrictions that were lifted today at 0400am will be re imposed from 1100pm till 0400am every day from tonight till May 31.
According to a statement issued by Sri Lanka Police, during hours when there are no travel restrictions, one person from a single family may leave the house, based on the last digit of their national identity card (NIC) number. Those whose NIC digits end with an odd number (1, 3, 5, 7, or 9) may go out on ‘odd days’ and those with an even number (0, 2, 4, 6, or 8) may go out on ‘even days’, the statement said.
This means that after Monday (17), till May 31, one person from one household can venture out from 4am to 11pm, depending on their NIC number. (Colombo/ May 17/2021)