27th May 2021 20:18:31 Hours
In order to find whether regional preparations for any contingencies are underway, 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 undertook an inspection tour this morning (27) to the Elpitiya new Intermediate Care Centre (ICC) at Idalkanda under construction and met troops giving final touches.
The Elpitiya Idalkanda ICC with about 400-500 beds, equipped with all vital health facilities is being improvised by the Army to be in line with the government's decision to increase the bed-capacity all over the country to meet with any emergency surge of patients. After the Governor for the Southern Province through the Divisional Secretariat at Elpitiya allocated Rs 10 m for urgent conversion of this abandoned garment factory, troops on the directions of the Army Chief commenced its improvisation in consultation with medical authorities in less than two weeks. The medical staff at Elpitiya Base Hospital were to run the ICC once completed.
The Army Chief was warmly welcomed by Major General Dammi Hewage, General Officer Commanding, 61 Division at the entrance to the new facility and ushered to meet Army troops at work. During exchange of views, the visiting General Shavendra Silva urged those in charge to expedite the project and be ready for any contingencies in the province.
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 Galle District following 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. Major General Vikum Liyanage, Commander, SF-West too joined the occasion afterwards.
"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 with the express objective of giving the best emergency healthcare to affected Sri Lankans free of charge," General Shavendra Silva had earlier gone on record saying.