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08th May 2021 19:54:38 Hours

Head, NOCPCO Supervises Final Touches at Army-improvised Biggest COVID-19 Hospital

In order to find whether the country's biggest Army-improvised COVID-19 Hospital in Seeduwa, now receiving final touches needs any more fine-tuning, General Shavendra Silva, Head of the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO), Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army, together with several Senior Officers of relevance to the project undertook an inspection tour this morning (8).

The Army-improvised COVID-19 Hospital in Seeduwa, fully backed by the Army Seva Vanitha Unit (ASVU) with 1200 beds, equipped with all vital health facilities, consequent upon the generosity, extended by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Brandix Group, Mr Ashroff Omar, is the first-ever biggest COVID-19 Hospital in the country, improvised by the Army in less than a week to be in line with the government's decision to increase the bed-capacity all over the country.

"In keeping with this emergency need, the Army immediately initiated an island-wide hunt for suitable locations and buildings and as a result, Security Force members at all regional levels are busy improvising new places to serve as Intermediate Care Centres or Hospitals, exclusively reserved for COVID-19 treatment as existing capacities in government hospitals are already overwhelmed. We expect to open this state-of-the art facility centre shortly in Seeduwa with the express objective of giving the best emergency healthcare to affected Sri Lankans free of charge," General Shavendra Silva remarked.

The Army Chief was warmly welcome by Major General Sujeewa Senerath Yapa, General Officer Commanding, 14 Division, together with Major General Sanjaya Wanasinghe, Adjutant General of the Army and Brigadier Lal Wijethunga, Commander, 141 Brigade, at the entrance to the new facility, made available by Brandix Group.

The state-of-the art facility with emergency treatment unit, isolation sections, resuscitation units, ICU, medical stores, etc is the first of its kind in Sri Lanka that came up in less than a week on an initiative taken by the Army to face with any contingency in the wake of resurgence of the 3rd COVID-19 wave in the country.

The Seeduwa new facility is the third such factory handed over by Brandix to the worthy cause of combating COVID-19 in Sri Lanka, apart from similar quarantine facilities they made available at their sites in Punani and Rambukkana. This Facility was also the first to receive the international recognition as the world's first Apparel Manufacturing Facility along with the LEED Platinum certificate.

This improvised new COVID-19 hospital in Seeduwa has been equipped with Army-produced 1200 beds and we will primarily have 5000 beds ready, and the target is to increase it to 10,000 beds around the country within the next couple of days. In this place, isolated medical facilities with separate cubicles and space could cope with 1200 patients on an emergency basis. The military has already added more beds to the hospital capacity, intermediate care centres and provided even ICU beds, having established the ICUs by the Army itself. Out of some 86,000 beds in island-wide state hospitals, initially we used only about 5000 beds since capacity for contingencies like COVID-19 is minimal, General Shavendra Silva was quoted saying.

Mrs Sujeewa Nelson, President Army Seva Vanitha Unit, together with Major General Ashoka Peiris, Chief Signal Officer, Brigadier Indu Samarakoon, Director Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, Brigadier Lalith Herath, Commander, Signal Brigade, Brigadier Nilantha Premarathne, Director Media, Brigadier Chanaka Prathapasinghe, Director Information Technology, Colonel Saveen Semage, Director Army Preventive Medicine and Mental Health Services, Colonel Indika Perera, Commanding Officer Army HQ Battalion and a few more Senior Officers were associated with the day's inspection tour.