18 June, 2021

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Battle Against Covid-19 – Are We At A “Tipping Point”? – Association Of Medical Specialists Asks Gota

The Association of Medical Specialists has today urged the President to impose effective lockdowns at least at district level to restrict people’s movement with immediate effect.

“The current practice of isolating communities at GN division level is neither preserving economic activity nor controlling transmission of the disease. Whilst assuring Your Excellency of our unstinted support to overcome the present challenges and save Sri Lanka from an unprecedented public health catastrophe, we hope the recommendations made by us will be implemented urgently. We also believe that the time has come to revisit Sri Lanka’s management strategy of Covid-19 before it rages out of control,” the Association of Medical Specialists said.

We publish below the statement in full:

10.05.2021

His Excellency Gotabaya Rajapaksa
President of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Presidential Secretariat
Colombo 01

Your Excellency,

Battle Against COVID-19 – are we at a “Tipping point”?

As medical specialists serving in the frontline of the fight against Covid-19, we strongly believe that Sri Lanka is at a critical stage. Number of new cases keep rising continuously. During last week, the daily number of ‘declared’ new infections have consistently been over 1800, and went above 2500 during the last 24 hours. The number of Covid related deaths too have been increasing steadily with daily counts of approximately 20, even after a questionable exclusion of those with co-morbidities. We should appreciate at least three times the reported number of new cases do exist in the community.

We also know that healthcare resources are fast reaching its threshold. Health sector beds and available facilities are almost saturated. Requirement for oxygen is increasing exponentially as we have started seeing more symptomatic patients. ICU beds are almost fully occupied. Healthcare professionals are exhausted and apprehensive with many getting infected with Covid-19 themselves.

Preliminary predictive disease modelling done by WHO, Geneva, recently with the assumption that current disease trend will continue without any public health interventions, Sri Lanka would most likely be reporting 10,000 cases daily within the next 3 weeks. If that happens, we can expect the number of deaths to exceed 100 per day. If the country reaches this ‘tipping point’ with the disease spiraling out of control, it would be extremely difficult to recover from that point.

Some are of the opinion that vaccination is the panacea to all our problems. There are two challenges to that narrative. One is the problems associated with quick access to safe and effective vaccines to cover at least 65-70% of the population with two doses. The time taken for vaccines to provide protection has been widely accepted to be at least 3 weeks after the second dose. Pending protection from the vaccines which is the key pillar supporting the fight against Covid-19, public health interventions to restrict people’s movements should be the most important tool to avert a disastrous outcome during this critical period.

Therefore, we urge Your Excellency to impose effective lockdowns at least at district level to restrict people’s movement with immediate effect. The current practice of isolating communities at GN division level is neither preserving economic activity nor controlling transmission of the disease. Whilst assuring Your Excellency of our unstinted support to overcome the present challenges and save Sri Lanka from an unprecedented public health catastrophe, we hope the recommendations made by us will be implemented urgently. We also believe that the time has come to revisit Sri Lanka’s management strategy of Covid-19 before it rages out of control.

We hope and pray that Your Excellency would consider our request and suggestions in the right spirit and in a constructive manner.

We are aware that your Excellency has an extremely busy schedule at present due to a variety of reasons. However, we would be very grateful if you could give us an opportunity to meet you with a group of relevant professionals to explain further why we think some drastic measures are immediately needed.

Yours sincerely,

Dr LakKumar Fernando                                                               Dr R Gnanasekeram
President-AMS                                                                              General Secretary-AMS

CC: 1. Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
       2. Hon. Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Minister of Health
       3. Hon. Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle, State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics and     
           COVID Disease Control                                                                      
       4. Hon. Prof. Channa Jayasumana, State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of 
           Pharmaceuticals  
       5. Dr. P B Jayasundara, Secretary to HE The President
       6. General Shavendra Silva, WWV RWP RSP VSV USP ndc psc Mphil
       7. Major General Dr. Sanjeewa Munasinghe, Secretary, Ministry of Health
       8. Dr. Asela Gunawardana, Director General of Health Services, Ministry of Health
       9. Dr Padma Gunaratne, President, SLMA
       10. Prof. Thamasi Makuloluwa, Convener, SLMA Intercollegiate Committee
       11. Dr Anuruddha Padeniya, President, GMOA

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Latest comments

  • 30
    6

    Dear doctors, as medical specialist serving in the frontline of the fight against Covid 19, you may be familiar with the virus and it’s expected effect on our population. But our President, his excellency who single handedly won a war, and his acolytes seems to have much more knowledge than all of you put together in fighting, conquering this virus and thereby protect our sovereignty. Yours sincerely, 7 million supporters.

    • 33
      6

      The scary part is we’re starting to look like we’re in a north korea like state with a man-baby who needs his weekly village therapy sessions with the 🐃’s who voted for him.

      • 17
        2

        Covid-19 must be shivering in its boots when it hears the name of our legendary commander Gotabaya!

        Stand aside and let Gota use his mythical capabilities to vanquish this enemy too!!

        • 8
          10

          This dumbo cannot understand the difference between terrorists and a virus. Eliminating terrorists is the job of the Armed Forces. Eliminating the virus is the job of experts in the health field.
          —-
          “Covid-19 must be shivering in its boots when it hears the name of our legendary commander Gotabaya!”

          • 9
            0

            Ah ! Mr Mahindapla,

            Why get so upset?

            Everyone except you know …….. these are just silly comments left for you to grind your dormant mental faculties into action to display your legendary intellect. :))

            Gota and you make a nice pair! ……… Lanka is in safe hands!

            You have no clue what hit you: do you?

            You guys make my day! That’s why I love to visit the forum. :)))

            • 4
              0

              Nimal,
              “Eliminating the virus is the job of experts in the health field.”
              Didn’t you know Shavendra Silva is a honorary virologist, courtesy of Bintenna University?
              —-

          • 3
            0

            Eagle Blind Eye

            “Eliminating terrorists is the job of the Armed Forces. Eliminating the virus is the job of experts in the health field.”

            Perhaps we didn’t understand the difference between Armed Forces and experts in the health field. In the past 30 years or so we are used to seeing armed uniformed gundas running the the island, controlling almost every bit of human activities, from A to Z, ……………

            If managing health of the people is the responsibility of health experts then why the hell Gota has appointed his uniformed gundas to manage the pandemic?

            Do Gota and his uniformed gundas see COVID 19 as being a military problem hence seeking a military solution?

            Gota should arm his armed forces with
            Howitzer,
            Semi-automatic airburst grenade launcher,
            ADS amphibious rifle,
            Black Knight Unmanned Combat Vehicle,
            Human Universal Load Carrier,
            ….
            ….
            to fight Covid 19.
            This is the stupid Sinhala/Buddhist fascist solution.

            • 0
              0

              “If managing health of the people is the responsibility of health experts then why the hell Gota has appointed his uniformed gundas to manage the pandemic?”


              When I wrote my comment I didn’t know that; I’m not in the country. …… My silly comment hit the mark even without intending to!


              Yooo Hooo EE, Mr Mahindapala who ever you are ………… come out …… come out from wherever you are hiding …….. and face the music …….. don’t pretend you are not reading; we can see you. :)))

          • 2
            0

            Yes Demented EE,
            .
            Gota and Rajapakshes cant differentiate it.
            :
            That is why people fall today with all anxities. Bps did not do the job regarding purchase of enough Jabs.

            GOSL has bought only 0.6mio of Jabs sofar.. all others what they received were grants (WHO and India).

          • 1
            1

            Eagle ‘nitwit’ Eye, bravo, fantastic comment. You are so brilliant in your assessments. Next time please keep it brief.

    • 19
      0

      Dear Chive,
      .
      Newzealand Premier is a highly senstive person. But she is intelligent. That s why she could manage to keep his folks away from becoming with COVID.
      .
      Our his excellency, according to Dr Fernandupulle and several others, dont care much about anything… he decides – if the bugger could according to him win the war against own folks, why cant he succeed it in the containment of SARS-CoV2. So long his men in that 7 million of voters would nod the head to the style of a cow, he would remain ” I am the one” who could settle it not the experts.
      :
      Why do DIVINE forces stay mum not punishing these men ? Is my million dollar question.

  • 30
    5

    Dear Doctors, we like to inform you the appointment of” virus buster Basil”, Chief of Presidential advisor now in charge of conducting the war. Knowing his ability as a tough and complex negotiator, we are confident in winning this war against virus. He has already told admin to get prepared to shut 75 % activity (if needed 100%). He is confident in making deals with all stakeholders, (vaccine, medicine, oxygen , beds ) of course for a right price (10 to 20 %)

    • 22
      4

      20% ?? You think rajapukas get out of bed for 20% ?? Try 100%.

  • 9
    2

    Part I
    This is a good letter from the AMS. I would like share UK’s experience of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
    ~
    At the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak there was a great deal of mismanagement in the UK in dealing with the pandemic:
    – lack of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
    – poor track-and-trace system
    – lack of, or a belated, action on lockdown.
    ~
    Thankfully, things are considerably better now. I would attribute the following as the main reasons for the quick turnaround in the fortunes:
    – Early regulatory approval of vaccines
    – Early deals with vaccine producers
    – Clear targets on vaccine delivery plan (to vaccinate 14 million people by mid-February 2021. In this first phase, efforts were focused on the priority groups identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
    – Priority to first dose
    – User-friendly appointment system
    – Large vaccination support
    – Military and voluntary support (transporting doses around the country and identifying areas not covered by the vaccination network)
    – Fight against the skeptics (communications campaign to tackle misinformation and misgivings among some people about taking the vaccine)

  • 11
    2

    Part II
    I accept Sri Lanka is not the same as the UK. But what Sri Lanka must do urgently is to apply a stringent but graduated lockdown regime until a well-managed and efficient vaccine roll out is in place and the benefits of the vaccination spreads to the population.
    ~
    https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations
    ~
    PS: My wife and I live in the UK and we both have had our two doses of the vaccine. From our own personal experience what has impressed us both is the efficient way in which our vaccinations were organised and carried out by the National Health Service (NHS) and the Public Health England.

  • 23
    6

    Dr LakKumar Fernando
    Dr R Gnanasekeram

    It appears that both Kamal and Shavendra who are supposed to be in charge of fighting Corona continue to reminisce about how they fought and won LTTE and how they are prepared to face down health refugees (kallathonies) from South India while Gota is on pilgrimage to Vihares.

    Both of you will have to find cure to tame both general’s ego and arrogance than finding treatment for actual patients.

  • 8
    2

    Healthcare professionals are exhausted and apprehensive with many getting infected with Covid-19 themselves.

    1. LOCK DOWN COVID-19 has made an unprecedented threat on both the health status and the smooth functioning of economies in the world.

    2. BY NOT LOCK DOWN will there be threat to the health ( or Death ) people or make the situation worse than the smooth functioning of economy the geting the advice of Health care is vital to Lockdown

  • 15
    3

    Dr. LakKumar Fernando: Were you one of the members of NMRA, who was removed by the President for not authorizing the use of “Chinese Vaccine”? If “Yes”, I doubt of receiving President’s attention to your letter and would give an appointment to meet with him. Most probably, your letter would be referred to “Basil” for “Necessary Action”. Anyway, Thank You and your Association for getting involved in sorting out this problem.

  • 15
    4

    Every one understands that the President or Prime Minister are not scientists and they need the advise of the experts in different fields to advise them in making policies and programmes and to manage emergencies such as Pandemic.
    I am not sure whether that the President of Sri Lanka having a group of medical experts including Senior Virologists as advisors to update him with the daily monitoring data on infections, death, vaccines, vaccinations for the Covid 19 management at least since Pandemic.
    The security of the country is the security of the people. It is not only about protecting borders or protecting people from enemies but also protecting people from diseases like Corona as well. You cannot protect Corona with military who are not experts in Virology or Bacteriology. To my knowledge, it is a failure of the government if they cannot find suitable experts to make decisions based on evidence.

  • 19
    5

    Lockdowns will not do anything to stop the spread. With immediate effect the army has to stop getting involved at any level of the response and vaccinations have to happen with at least 100000 vaccinations a day.
    .
    So long as the army are handling this then there will always be a a spread of this virus as they are not capable.
    .
    Some please keep count of the relief fund. I suspect these band of criminals are looking to steal it like they did with the tsunami fund.

  • 6
    14

    I am interested in seeing the data on COVID-19 by ethnicity. and region. Certain groups may be more vulnerable due to higher clustering, population growth, age, etc.

    • 10
      7

      The global picture is that African Negros are least vulnerable.
      Mongolian races come next.
      Aryans and Aryan descendants fare worst, unless they are communists like Cubans, Venezuelans and Nicaraguans.

      • 3
        5

        I am referring to Orthodox Jews, underrepresented populations with limited access to healthcare, and the elderly. In past decades, plagues and famines had a way of wiping out the “less enlightened” (stupid) for the purposes of population control. These days they live significantly longer thanks to science. Count yourself lucky.

        • 3
          0

          Some communities have done well without much help from outside: Haiti for instance.
          Has science put an end to disease and starvation?
          Science is not a force by itself. Check who is in control.

      • 1
        1

        SJ,
        “Aryans and Aryan descendants fare worst, unless they are Communists “
        Lester says pandemics take out more stupid people. Are you implying L is stupid? This is too deep for me.😳😳

    • 6
      2

      Lester,
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oM3sEXLmrnk

      Your master have gone beyond all the levels where they were stopped by 2015.
      .
      Motherland is weeping today….. all these are seen in a form of COVID and other disasters. I wish I could hear soon that current leadership is punished divine forces.

      • 0
        1

        Leela,

        Who are these pissu poosa’s?” Cannot win with Gotha in an election, now talking rubbish. Send them to Boosa or Angoda.

    • 3
      1

      Lester

      “I am interested in seeing the data on COVID-19 by ethnicity. and region. Certain groups may be more vulnerable due to higher clustering, population growth, age, etc.”

      Are you planning to urge the state/government to introduce Sinhala/Buddhist only hospitals/treatment centers?

  • 9
    0

    Vaccinate as soon as possible with what ever you have . It definitely works. In California where we had the worst its now the best,

    It is pretty clear in about 9 months to an year we will need a booster anyway.

    • 2
      0

      a14455 / May 10, 2021

      No right to ask ” what ever you have”. Please only follow WHO approved vaccines.
      :
      The chinese vaccines are now hurriedly approved by WHO. But the danger is still there. We cant trust the chinese … lack of trust have not allowed countries to go for chinese vaccine, but with unestimable numbers going up in india and brazil… there is no other choice but to go for it.
      :
      When the chances are there, pleaes think twice before going to decide for CHINESE vaccines. We dont Rajapakshe supporters.. so our thinking is different. bless

  • 5
    1

    What COVID? I understand the government is planning to go for an all island lockdown.
    That’s ok.
    But, in the lockdown, the Rajapaksas are planning to pass TWO VERY IMPORTANT BILLS that will change our Sinhalese Buddhist history.
    1) The Port City Separate State Bill
    2) The “Tripitaka” Protection Bill
    Both these Bills will lead to a grand conspiracy to a “SETTLER COLONIZATION” and “ELIMINATION OF THE NATIVE SINHALESE BUDDHISTS”.
    Contd’…… 1/2

    • 4
      3

      ATTENTION TO ALL SINHALESE BUDDHISTS!!!!!!
      The Malaccan Rajapaksas are planning to table a “Tripitaka Protection Bill” a.k.a “Sinhalese Buddhist Annihilation Bill” and what they are trying to do is shocking.
      This Bill proposes to appoint a “Minister” and a “Director General” with unlimited powers,
      1) to sell, mortgage, dispose or acquire ANY Buddhist temples, Buddhist religious sites, Buddhist cave temples, Buddhist forest monasteries and even Buddhist Pirivenas.
      2) to enter into INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS with anybody they deem necessary. That means, they can enter into sale, lease, rental, lend or loan agreements with foreign governments, foreign monasteries, NGOs, INGOs, non-Buddhist organizations, etc, etc, etc., in the name of Buddhism.
      3) to have full authority over all Buddhist texts, books, scripts and even privately owned palm-leaf manuscripts, and,
      4) to interpret, translate or even desecrate any ancient inscriptions, Buddhist texts, books or manuscripts according to their whims and fancies.
      .
      The purpose of this Bill is to distort our history. Moreover, it could easily be utilized to acquire lands for the MCCA. Remember, over 2 million acres of lands across the country covering Buddhist sacred sites, forests, reservoirs and watersheds were previously earmarked for the MCCA.
      Wake up, Sinhalese!
      This Bill could lead to “SETTLER COLONIZATION” replacing the original Sinhalese Buddhists from their native land.

      • 2
        1

        The following video by Chapa Bandara on the “Tripitaka Protection Bill” will explain the matter in detail:
        .
        https://youtu.be/XkRITgpxm5s
        .

        • 3
          1

          I have the feeling… SINHALA BUDDHISTs racists are almost like that Jehovah adherents. No matter you child or any relatives of yours is of short of blood, they dont allow blood transfusions as therapies.
          :
          Champa please grow up…. there is no such SINHALA buddhism, there exist only one buddhism – going by LORD BUDDHAs TRUE teachings. Jathaka Stories based SINHALA BUDHISM is racist form of life style for the benefit of ballig eputhas such as Rajapkshes. Please grow up.

        • 1
          1

          Champa

          “Tripitaka Protection Bill”

          Catch all and throw them in prison, throw the keys away.
          Just scream blasphemy, your supposed enemy will end up in prison, kept there for an indefinite period, no need for legal process, ………………no need to prove guilt, ….

          A new theocracy is being build, while you are happy to carry saffron “b***s”.
          Go ahead make their day.

      • 0
        2

        Champa,

        Greatest present-day threat to Sinhala-Buddhism is radicalization of Muslims. They do not like so-called “idols.” In 2001, Taliban used C4 explosives to destroy Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan. That is the mindset they have. ISIS destroyed many churches and ancient statues in Syria. Easter Sunday mastermind Zaharan had contact with ISIS. Due to radicalization, one can also expect very high fertility rates, meaning they will have more and more contact with dominant demographic (Sinhalese), creating economic competition for limited resources. There is no doubt Muslims will replace Tamils as the dominant minority in North and East. Luckily Gota is trying to prevent the radicalization, although it is not easy.

        • 1
          1

          Lester,
          “ISIS destroyed many churches and ancient statues in Syria”
          Sinhala kings too destroyed Hindu temples.

      • 1
        1

        Champa,
        “to sell, mortgage, dispose or acquire ANY Buddhist temples, Buddhist religious sites, Buddhist cave temples, Buddhist forest monasteries and even Buddhist Pirivenas.”
        The Buddha clearly said that the Sangha must not own anything, let alone temples, vehicles, money, or even shoes. Please explain why “Buddhist ” monks now indulge in all these things?
        It would be a very good idea for the State to nationalize all property owned by monks.

  • 4
    2

    It’s like playing violin to deaf elephants

    • 4
      0

      Fools paradise

      this became clearer with the election of former bunch of HIGH criminals into power. Today – bastards sons of beliatta cattle thieves, dont wear masks, but trying to be above thinking that they are no different to the sons of PRINCE charles.
      :
      Not a single son of ballige putha Mahinda is clean. How can they be exemplary to this nation. Divine forces should work on Rajakshes sooner than later if this nation to raise their head. So long bitch s sons as HIGH criminals take ground of thi snation…. aba saranayi to our nation.

      • 0
        1

        Leela,

        “How can they be exemplary to this nation”

        Watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZc_Am5HUSs.

        Gotha turned the Army into a number one fighting machine. LTTE could not come close. They did not capture any territory after MaRa became Pres. Not even one inch. Look at the confidence in the soldiers. Did you know, USA/NATO is leaving Afghanistan without defeating Taliban. Despite the best tech, best weapons, etc. they cannot defeat a few buggers with Russian weapons.

  • 7
    2

    I was in SL when the curfew was imposed suddenly in March 2020. I saw an impressive talk by the GMOA president on TV & his gleeful boast of how well the pandemic is controlled better than developed countries, so now, I am wondering if he is eating humble pie. My affluent friends in SL welcomed the curfew & commended GR for his decisive & strong leadership but all the hardships the average citizens had to endure during 5 weeks of continuous curfew seems to have been in vain now.

    While countries tackled the pandemic in their own way with various degrees of lock down, it was essentially, testing, tracking, quarantining & the vaccination strategy that seemed to be the solution. However, some countries were too quick to come out of lockdown, & experienced the consequences, particularly, in India, it has been catastrophic. SL too, from extreme lockdown, became complacent or had no idea of the seriousness, & was probably in the dark all along but due to grace of god (literally), was spared of a massive death toll, until, perhaps, now. The health minister seem to have faith in divine intervention while the minister for pandemics doesn’t seem to have any action plan. Judging by this letter, she hasn’t even consulted the professionals on the subject, which raises the question whether she is up to the task or just a waste of space like many others.

    cont.

  • 6
    2

    cont.

    The health minister in UK is responsible for the pandemic. He is supported by the PM with advise from experts & the public educated by daily briefings. Now, with a successful vaccination process, the lockdown is being gradually eased, in contrast, SL is going back to lockdown. Whatever the strategy (if at all), it has not worked in SL but, more seriously, SL still does not seem to be preparing for a worst case scenario as in India. Will the man of action tolerate inefficiency or live up to his reputation & start cracking the whip? It’s too late now, GR has failed to deliver, the buck stops with him.

    • 1
      2

      R-UK
      In March 2020 and even after for half an year, control was good, but could have been even better.
      Look at the infection timeline before you criticize.
      There was serious screwing up since October 2020.
      *
      Britain still ranks 7th for infection and 5th for deaths.
      The Third (?) wave had started to decline early in January even before vaccination got going. (It takes 2 weeks for the vaccine to take effect). Vaccination outside trials started only on 4th January.
      Whom are you congratulating about what?

  • 5
    2

    Govnt should do more campaign and convince the people what are the precautions how to be vigilant ,and have hot water slip or kothamalli etc
    We have seen how people behaving by arresting punishing drifting the cooperation,and wasting police time,more volunteers should be patrol and issue mask etc warn them and educate

  • 3
    1

    You might have missed it because it was very quiet, but Ranil suddenly woke up yesterday and announced that the worst was yet to come. He blamed the Government and predicted more than a hundred deaths a day by July. He got this figure from https://covid19.healthdata.org/sri-lanka?view=daily-deaths&tab=trend an American site. You can see that he is being quite conservative in his estimate. A nationwide lockdown and mass vaccination is the only way to avert an India-like disaster.

    • 2
      0

      Paul
      In India it was a criminal act by Modi government to allow a free for all Kumbhmela in April that led to the disaster. A lockdown will not salvage much.
      With a total lockdown you are likely to kill more by starvation.

  • 2
    0

    SJ, Modi also had massive election rallies which wouldn’t have helped. I’m not sure that a total lockdown would cause starvation. Is it much different from an all-Island curfew?

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