Written by Zulfick Farzan
21 May, 2021 | 5:46 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st); Four major medical bodies have come together to urge the Sri Lankan government to impose a lockdown or a curfew.
The Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) along with the Government Medical Officers Association, Association of Medical Specialists (AMS) and Sri Lanka Medical Intercollegiate Committee (SMIC) in a joint statement demand the government to go for a minimum two weeks (14 days) lockdown or even a curfew, continuously and at a stretch, of the entire country, considering the following scientific observations.
1. Minimum 14 days would cover two cycles of incubation periods of the infection that is likely to be adequate to break the chain of uncontrolled spread of the disease.
2. The infection is rampant in all provinces, making inter provincial travel restrictions to be of no useful benefit at this stage of the outbreak.
3. As isolation of Grama Niladhari (GN) divisions occur with a 5 – 7day delay following the detection of cases, isolation of GN Divisions does not serve the purpose of restricting the transmission of infection. By the time the GN divisions are isolated, the infection with an inherent very high transmissibility has spread way beyond the GN divisions.
4. Country-wide lockdown for just a few days at a stretch will not have any significant effect on the case load or transmission of the disease as it does not cover even one incubation period to reduce infectivity and transmission of the infection.
5. Repeated, intermittent and short lockdowns, with people coming together for work in enclosed areas following this, will not have any benefit on the economy as it will only create a scenario that will only increase the numbers of COVID-19 cases within these premises
6. Letting people go out according to National Identity Card numbers is unlikely to serve any purpose at this stage of infection characterised by very high transmissibility.
7. Allowing public transport with seated passengers, 25% of capacity of customers in supermarkets, restaurants (dinning in), hotels, rest houses, shopping malls, shops etc will increase the number of cases at this stage of spread of infection in the community.
In addition, a 14-day complete lockdown or a curfew at a stretch at this crucial juncture will have a much healthier impact on the economy, in the formal as well as the informal sectors, and the health sector, rather than isolating sections of the country randomly or by interprovincial travel restrictions.
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