Medics in Sri Lanka urge total 2-week lockdown

Colombo: A group of medical professionals in Sri Lanka on Friday urged the government to enforce a total lockdown for a period of two weeks to check the current surge of Covid-19 infections.

The group said that minimum 14 days of closure would cover two cycles of incubation period and the time would be adequate to break the chain of uncontrolled spread of the disease.

They claimed that the actual number of infections are at least threefold of the current over 3,000 cases detected per day in the island.

The current travel restrictions limited to just a few days will not have any significant effect on the caseload of transmissions, they said.

The current ban on inter-provincial travel is of no use as each province has reported a high number of infections, Dr Padma Gunaratne of the Sri Lanka Medical Association said.

Inter-provincial travel restrictions are in place across the country until May 30.

Travel restrictions would be placed in the country from midnight on Friday until 4 am on Tuesday. Travel is permitted only for essential services and to obtain vaccination during this period.

The medics have warned that it will not be long before the hospitals are flooded with patients, completely inundated and the medical staff is stretched way beyond its capacity, resulting in a serious breakdown of health services in the country.

The island, which is battling a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, is experiencing a surge of infections since mid-April.

Sri Lanka on Wednesday recorded its highest number of daily new COVID-19 cases at 3,623. The number of daily deaths also was the highest reported so far at 36 fatalities.

The total number of infections crossed the 150,000-mark by 10 am on Friday morning and the death toll reached 1,089 since the onset of the pandemic in March last year. There have been over 125,000 recoveries, health officials said.