Sri Lanka’s Suwaseriya Paramedic Ambulance Services have been in the frontlines of the anti-coronavirus battle, along with nurses, doctors and minor staff of hospitals, said Health Minister, Pavithra Wanniarachchi.
“Staff of the Suwaseriya Ambulance Service should receive national honour for their service of picking up patients as soon as they are informed,” she said in a daily recorded video in place of the daily task force press conference.
Suwaseriya Paramedic Ambulance Service was first launched in 2016 in the Southern and Western provinces with 88 ambulances utilizing a 7.55 million US dollar grant from India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi on a suggestion of the then State Minister, Harsha de Silva.
Another 12 million dollar grant was given later adding 209 more ambulances allowing the service to be extended to most parts of the country.
As of 2019, Suwaseriya ambulance service had an average response time of 11 min. and 53 sec. to a call for their hotline 1990 island wide.
The service had also covered 400,000 accidents by January 31 this year.
The general public can call Suwaseriya hotline number 1990 if they show symptoms of COVID-19 where an ambulance from the fleet will come and pick them up and admit them to the nearest hospital assigned for COVID-19 patients, a statement said.
Suwaseriya staff are well equipped with Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to provide complete assistance in combating the situation, it added.