Some may find videos and images below distressing.
Experts have warned Sri Lanka is heading for a major medical debacle in the coming weeks as there is a risk that the Delta variant is spreading beyond control according to Daily Mirror.
Hospitals across the Western Province were filled to its brim and more than 2/3rd of the patients presently were oxygen-dependent.
At the Colombo General Hospital alone, all medical wards had been taken to treat COVID-19 patients and till last morning alone, there were 610 COVID positive patients at the National Hospital.
Initially per ward was equipped with four oxygen-equipped beds, which was later tripled to 12 beds per ward. However, with the influx of patients in recent weeks, these beds are also falling short.
“We are struggling to give these patients oxygen not because we lack oxygen, but because we did not expect this much of patients. We were ready with oxygen beds, but this is beyond imagination,” a doctor said.
“I foresee in near future we will have more patients who need oxygen and we will not be able to provide them with oxygen,” the doctor added.
Doctors involved in the battle say that with the present variant suspected to be Delta, in another month Sri Lanka may be headed for its worst medical disaster.
Doctors believe that the sudden rise of patients in the Western Province is from the Delta but presently it is only the University of Sri Jayewardenepura that is equipped to carry out the sequencing of samples. The Health Ministry will soon begin this as well.
Doctors have added that those who have been vaccinated with only one dose are at a higher risk from the Delta variant, and have urged people to get their vaccinations as soon as possible. Presently, Sri Lanka’s record of vaccinating its citizens above the age of 30 is one of the best in the world, with the government confident of vaccinating the targeted population with at least the first dose by end of August. However, doctors said that with the country now opening up, people from the other provinces who visit Colombo risk carrying the Delta variant back to those provinces which will cause a further disaster. But with Delta having already made its landfall here, doctors said the country will now have to go through the disaster. They have warned of more infected patients and more deaths caused by the virus in the coming weeks and months.
Medical experts have urged people to wear a tight-fitting mask, and avoid the loose ones, and avoid sitting together for meals inside closed spaces. In fact, they have suggested to not remove the mask in closed spaces and even to drink water, they should go out. People have also been urged to restrict their movements as much as possible.
Video footage has been released of the appalling situation at the Colombo North Teaching Hospital in Ragama with regard to the treatment of Covid patients.
According to the video footage published by the Daily Mirror, patients are seen sleeping on mats along the corridors of the hospital.
The hospital has also warned that it was running out of capacity due to the rising number of Covid patients being admitted on a daily basis.
The Ratnapura Teaching Hospital has issued an emergency warning taking into consideration the current situation of the country.
Some videos from Kalubovila hospital also was trending on social media although not verified.
Hospitals prepared to face a rise in the number of people infected by the coronavirus- Health Ministry
Meanwhile, Health Ministry Deputy Director Dr. Hemantha Herath said that if the coronavirus situation goes out of control in Sri Lanka, appropriate measures will be taken.
Dr. Hemantha Herath said that hospitals are being prepared to face a rise in numbers but it does not mean the situation is out of control.
He urged the public to take precautions in order to ensure the spread of Covid does not reach a crisis situation.
Dr. Hemantha Herath also said that hospitals are being prepared to face a rise in the number of people infected with the coronavirus.
He also asserted that most recent Covid victims were those who had not been vaccinated.
Sri Lanka has recorded a rise in the number of Covid deaths as well as in the number of those infected.