ICU beds, PCR Tests to be increased

The Health Ministry has decided to immediately increase the number of ICU beds and to provide high-flow oxygen to COVID-19 patients as required.

It has also been decided to increase the number of PCR tests to a minimum of 15,000 per day.

The Special Performance Review Committee of the Health Ministry chaired by Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi yesterday took several stern decisions in the wake of the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the country, the Ministry said in a press release.

The meeting was called as there is a risk of spreading COVID-19 again due to irresponsible behavior of the people in the past few weeks. It has been decided at the meeting to strictly enforce quarantine laws and punish violators of quarantine laws.

Formulation of special quarantine rules for those coming from abroad had also been considered at the meeting.

Other decisions taken at the meeting include strengthening the data collection system and providing more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to medical staff, including doctors and nurses.

It has been decided to identify more hospitals at the regional and district level to treat COVID-19 patients in the future and provide them with the necessary medical facilities. It has also been decided to make plans to refer patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 to the appropriate hospitals individually according to their medical conditions.

It has stressed that strong outpatient and inpatient care must be maintained and surgery services provided to patients who are hospitalized for other ailments must be continued on a daily basis while maintaining treatment services for COVID-19 patients.

This Special Performance Review Committee is made up of medical administrators, administrative service officers, and specialist physicians. State Minister Dr Sudarshani Fernandopulle, Health Ministry Secretary Major General Sanjeewa Munasinghe, and Health Services Director General Dr. Asela Gunawardena also participated.

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