Intercollegiate Committee of SLMA too urges severe mobility restrictions

The breakdown of the entire healthcare system is around the corner, Intercollegiate Committee of the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) told President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in a letter. The Intercollegiate Committee said that the government needs to impose severe mobility restrictions and allocate Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccines that can give some immunity from one jab to those over 60 and other high risk people.

The letter in full: “All hospitals that provide services for the care of COVID-19 patients have exceeded their full capacity and are left with no vacant beds available for any new COVID-19 patients. As hospitals continue to expand space for COVID-19 patients endlessly, the services available for other diseases are also being severely compromised. The spread of the infection among healthcare workers has led to their falling ill leading to a severe shortage of staff. All these have affected the care given for COVID and Non-COVID patients, which is likely to lead to an invariable breakdown of the entire healthcare system and increasing death rates in the near future. There is an urgent need for a rapid reduction in the number of cases of COVID 19, and this could only be achieved by severe mobility restrictions.

“Allocation of Pfizer, Moderna or AZ Vaccines for Over 60 and Other High Risk People

“Vaccination significantly reduces severe disease and death caused by COVID 19 infection. Certain vaccines such as Moderna, Pfizer-biontech and AstraZeneca evoke a significant protection following a single dose of the vaccine, while a single dose of Sinopharm provides no protection until two weeks after a second dose is given. As there is a need for rapidly inducing immunity in high risk individuals such as those with comorbidities and in older people over 60 years, we consider vaccinating older people and people with comorbidities with the above-mentioned vaccines would save more lives. They could be vaccinated in the community as well as in the hospitals. Having taken the above factors into consideration we earnestly request you to seriously consider implementing the following steps urgently.

• To declare a very severe mobility restriction amounting to a lockdown for a minimum of two weeks while maintaining essential services and the programme for vaccination uninterrupted.

• To allocate vaccines that provide some immunity even with a single dose to all elders and to people with comorbidities.

“We hereby wish to state that the Council of the Sri Lanka Medical Association and the Intercollegiate Committee are committed to assist your good self in all your endeavours to safeguard the health of the

nation and seek an urgent meeting with Your Excellency to explain in full the implications of the current scenario.

“We would be most grateful if an appointment could be granted to us to further discuss this very important matter, as soon as possible.”

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