Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Hon Minister of Health, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Head, NOCPCO, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army and Dr Asela Gunawardena, Medical Specialist & Director General of Health Services (DGHS) yesterday afternoon (24) co-chaired one more session of the NOCPCO Task Force, attended by all members and experts in the field at the NOCPCO.
The Task Force closely reviewed the status quo, new developments and emergency measures in the face of detection of more and more positive cases. Management of isolated areas and locations, infiltration of the virus into new areas, behavioural patterns of the public, conduct of essential services in restricted areas, The NOCPCO Head told the meeting every effort would be made to minimize the number of isolated areas being declared as per directions of HE the President in order to avoid inconvenience to the general public.
Although lockdown areas could be restricted to vulnerable avenues, roads, small hamlets, GN Divisions etc, its effective impact could only be measured due to behavior of human beings in such areas since new cases found are not largely from closed areas but from other locations, the meeting was told.
The Task Force afterwards discussed new positive cases found from Kandy, Mahaiyawa, Nuwara Eliya-Maskeliya areas and follow-up actions taken after those detections. The present recurring situation in Atalugama, Bandaragama was also touched and the meeting was informed that PCR tests and Rapid Antigen tests also being performed in those areas. 500 such tests were to be conducted during today (24).
The gathering focused on discharged numbers and was told that up to date 14,496 fully-recovered COVID-19 patients have been discharged from hospitals and the rest 5,921 are still under treatment in hospitals and care centres.
The meeting also discussed hospital capacities as well as those being cared by the Colombo Municipal Council medical centres. They also shared views on distribution of government’s relief packs, Rs 5000 allowances, participation of NGOs for the same relief purposes as well as the supply of essentials to the value of Rs 10,000 among the worst hit families.
It was also decided that only the state sector should have the authority to carry out Antigen Tests at the moment before its use is made available to the private sector. The meeting was also told that the country’s pandemic level at Level-3 as of now.