A nation in crisis


  • As of Monday morning, 614 patients were oxygen-dependent
  • Even an immediate lock-down will not change the fate of coming 10 days
  • Doctors say blame game won’t help, all must act responsibly
  • Inter province travel restrictions to be strictly monitored
  • Avoid public gatherings / stepping out unnecessarily
  • Although official figures were an estimated 2,500 to 2,800 patients per day, the numbers may be high as even 4,000

Sri Lanka’s entire medical sector has been plunged into a crisis as even an immediate countrywide lock-down will not be able to change the fate of the coming 10 days due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus already predicted to be vast, leading medical experts told Daily Mirror yesterday.

No decision as yet to impose countrywide lockdown but inter-province travel restriction will be seriously monitored

Doctors had now increased sequencing to identify in which provinces the Delta variant had spread and were now even on the look out for the Delta Plus, which was a mutated version of the Delta variant, already spreading havoc in certain countries.

“The Delta Plus is when the Delta variant mutates naturally when the transmission of the Delta variant is very high. Although it has not been detected in Sri Lanka yet, doctors are on alert and monitoring the situation,” it is said.

Doctors suspect that presently it was the Delta variant that had caused an exponential increase in the number of COVID-19 patients and although official figures were an estimated 2,500 to 2,800 patients per day, the numbers may be high as even 4,000. And what was being reported now was a reflection of patients who may had been infected about 8 to 10 days ago and the patients infected within these days, their numbers will only be revealed in the coming 10 days.

According to an internal medical document, till Monday morning there were 614 patients who were oxygendependent in the hospitals. Two patients who rushed to the IDH Hospital on Monday morning died while being in the OPD of the hospital as their Oxygen levels had dropped by the time they had got to the hospital.

Doctors predict that the number of Oxygen-dependent patients may rise to 1,000 in the coming days which leads to a higher demand of Oxygen supply. Presently there are two companies in Sri Lanka supplying Oxygen to hospitals, and the government has assured to import Oxygen if a shortage arises. Presently an Oxygen shortage has not been reported.

Most of the patients infected with the Delta variant was reported in the Western Province and from the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital while most of the districts in the hill country, such as Kandy, Nuwara

Eliya, Badulla, Kegalle, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, were yet to report the Delta variant. However, gene sequencing is ongoing from those areas.

Meanwhile Army Commander General Shavendra Silva told Daily Mirror that there had been no decision as yet to impose a countrywide lock-down but said the interprovince travel restriction will be seriously monitored. Only essential and health workers will be able to go through.

Doctors have urged people to avoid public gatherings and avoid going out unnecessarily. Those who are employed have been urged to work from home if their work does not require them to report to office. Those in offices have been urged to complete their work and leave the premises immediately, adhering to all health guidelines.

“If people’s mobility stops today, then some positive results maybe witnessed after two weeks,” Doctors said.

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