27th October 2020 22:08:34 Hours
Tuesday (27) afternoon saw one more session of Task Force members of the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) got underway at the NOCPCO premises, co-chaired by Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Head, NOCPCO, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army and acting Director General of Health Services (DGHS) Dr S. Shridharan and attended by a handful of experts, Medical Specialists and other stakeholders in the health sector.
Task Force session after a welcome note of the NOCPCO Head closely reviewed the status quo, assessed developments, re-visited updates, emergence of possible new clusters and forecast the overall picture of the epidemic in the country in the wake of current developments. Members urged the public to strictly adhere to safety guidelines since the information attributes the spread of the virus to scant regard for health guidelines, congested movements and social gatherings, and irresponsible ways of behavior of some people.
All agreed to impose quarantine curfew restrictions as ‘Police quarantine curfew’ on cases reported from different isolated locations and ‘isolation’ curfew at village levels for self-quarantine practices. Accordingly, clusters of affectees once found are to be isolated under ‘isolation’ strategy while detection of affectees at random from different places are to be restricted under Police curfew in order to curb movements from one place to the other. It was also pointed out that almost 91 percent of first contacts quarantined in tri service-managed Quarantine Centres were proved a huge success, for which the tri servicemen deserve praise and our gratitude. Those practices have already proved effective, the meeting was told.
Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva extended a special word of thanks to the untiring roles of the epidemiology unit of the health department who have been instrumental in taking swift action, no sooner than a detection was reported and its subsequent follow-up procedures. “Their roles are outstanding and we owe a special word of thanks,” he quipped. He also wanted to consult HE the President on the continued arrival of expatriates into the country in future after such practices were suspended. The meeting was also told that expatriates arriving in future will have to bear the costs of PCR tests, Quarantine Procedures, accommodation, etc. All necessary assistance to move into Quarantine Centres, largely of Hotels would be made available at the airport through proper coordination.
Acting Director General of Health Services, Dr S. Shridharan briefed the attendees on the conduct of PCR tests, distribution of drugs, guidelines given to doctors and health care workers, increase of positive cases largely from storied residential areas with flats and possibilities for mitigation of such transmission, etc.