Sri Lanka is at a critical state- health officials warn

PCR test reports that are released are currently several days old, and the epidemic could escalate further if testing is delayed, Secretary of the Association of Public Health Inspectors, Mahendra Balasuriya warns.
He said if the capacity of health services in the country is at its maximum capacity there is a danger for it to collapse. He further stated that such signs are already on the rise in some districts.
Mr. Balasuriya pointed out that the current situation in Sri Lanka is critical and that travel restrictions must be imposed.
He said if the experts’ advice in this regard are not followed, the situation will not be controlled and there is a possibility that Sri Lanka will also be trapped in a difficult situation like in India.
He also stated that even ordinary patients could not be admitted to the ICU, adding that even inpatient treatment facilities are also now reserved for those who are infected with Covid 19.
When inquired the reasons for this PCR test result delays from the President of the Association of Government Medical Laboratory Technologists, Ravi Kumudesh, said to MediaLK that the number of samples now has exceeded the capacity of the laboratories.
He also emphasized the urge for a new system implementation for delivering test results, stating that the current method of handing over these lists to Epidemiology Division, Epidemiologists, Virologists and to Community Doctors manually, consumes considerable time.
He further said that there are no ‘overtime’ payments in the laboratories, thus diminishing the efficiency of processing the PCR test results by quite a proportion.
This capacity could be increased by three times if a ‘Point of Care PCR system’ is decentralized and although the proposals in this regard have been made to the relevant authorities up to the president, no necessary action has been taken so far, Mr. Kumudesh said.
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