With the delta variant claiming to be most prevalent all over the country, we have almost reached our maximum health care capacity in almost all of our health care facilities throughout the country. State morgues have already exceeded their storage capacity. The situation is equally grim even if one has financial means as the private sector is also stretched to it’s limit. Daily death toll is ever increasing and we currently record one of the highest COVID-19 death rates in the world. The number of patients, and more disturbingly there is a daily exponential rise in the number of oxygen dependent patients. Our capacity to accommodate Covid-19 patients has virtually reached its tipping point.
Expansion to this present capacity has been also achieved by sacrificing facilities available for non Covid-19 medical and surgical patients. With the demand for increasing number of beds, oxygen and trained personnel it will be a matter of few days to reach catastrophic dimensions. This will claim lives of COVID-19 as well as patients with other diseases and conditions who require urgent treatment who would otherwise have survived.
Against this backdrop we, the Association of Medical Specialists are of the opinion that much tougher movement restrictions should be imposed sooner than later as there is no time left for complacency. Without such measures, we strongly believe that the health care system will have little breathing space to optimise the care extended to critical Covid as well as non Covid patients.
We, as an apolitical professional body feel it is our prime responsibility to alert and warn the relevant authorities ONCE AGAIN of the grim situation not only as law abiding citizens but also as key stakeholders in the national health care delivery system.
In our opinion, the measures to be taken could even amount to a rigorously implemented curfew as this may be the only successful means of curtailing people’s movement in a country like ours. With declining economic performance indicators and the hardships of daily wage earners, we are quite aware of the urgency the government has in getting the economy back on track. However, disregarding the ground realities will invariably stall economic progress due to surging Covid-19 related mortality and morbidity and uncertainty and fear created in the global arena.
Therefore, we are compelled to urge the government to revisit its Covid-19 restriction protocols in the wake of surging numbers of critical patients and deaths.
Even though we have the best vaccination drive in the world (at present), we don’t expect the current vaccination drive to have an impact on the present wave of the epidemic which is playing havoc in our country.
Dr LakKumar Fernando Dr R Gnanasekeram
President-AMS General Secretary-AMS