Colombo, August 20 (DailyMirror) – As hospitals across the country are spilling over from the rapidly rising COVID-19 patients, many suspected to be carrying the highly contagious Delta variant, authorities yesterday announced a comprehensive home management treatment programme to be carried out in the Western Province, which has been identified as the epicentre of the Delta variant.
Army Commander General Shavendra Silva told Daily Mirror that all COVID-19 patients were now encouraged not to visit hospitals and instead register through an SMS system, detailing their ailments to 1904, where, depending on their symptoms they will be divided into either category A, B or C.
Silva said those who were suffering from breathing difficulties and had severe symptoms would be put under category A, where doctors from the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) will then engage with them and with support from the Health Ministry direct them to a relevant hospital. Army ambulances will be on standby to assist these patients to transport them to allocated hospitals.
Those patients with symptoms but do not have breathing difficulties, will be put under category B, where they will then receive a message as to which hospital or Intermediate Care Center they should visit.
Once they arrive, they will be checked and doctors will decide if they need to be hospitalized, be treated at a center or can be treated at home. If hospitalization is required, they will be assisted and transported to a hospital.
Those patients who are asymptomatic will be under category C and will be contacted by GMOA doctors who will guide them on how to treat them while being at home. Since launching yesterday morning, over 3,000 sms’ messages have been received on the hotline by the National Operations Center for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) and patients were being categorized accordingly. Early next week this system will also open out into the other districts, Silva said.
“We already had a home management system in place but we now want to categorize as only those who are sick and really need hospitalization should be taken to hospital and intermediate care centers while the balance should stay at home,” Silva said.
Hospitals are facing one of their worst-ever health crisis as thousands of patients seek admission daily while thousands more are already admitted and lie on beds and on the floor. Health workers are struggling to cope with the patients while crematoriums are working round the clock cremating the dead.