Current case numbers probably underestimate the speed of COVID19 spread in Sri Lanka. Current measures are not adequate to slow spread, a blog by Dr. Ravi Rannan-Eliya, Executive Director of the Institute of Health Policy has noted.
“Hundreds more are being infected each day undetected, and daily new infections may well be increasing. If this is the case, the unavoidable conclusion is that current control measures are not enough to suppress this outbreak,” Dr. Rannan-Eliya has warned.
“Testing, tracing and isolation remains the most effective control measure we have to control the virus—better than face-masks and lockdowns.” he said adding that during the first wave of the pandemic, countries that were able to reduce their effective reproduction number below 1 for sustained periods were typically testing at rates of 100+ tests to each new case.
“With current testing arrangements and with the current rate of viral transmission, this is not achievable in Sri Lanka” he said.
“This implies that unless drastic emergency measures are taken to ramp up testing and to further reduce spread using other interventions, the current outbreak is only going to get worse. Unfortunately, the longer that continues, the worse the problem will become, and the longer and harder it will be to get transmission back to zero” he warned.