The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) yesterday, July 21, urged the Ministry of Health to expand a pilot project to treat asymptomatic COVID-19 patients in their own homes.
The GMOA Secretary, Dr. Senal Fernando said that over 1,500 new COVID-19 cases were reported every day and it would soon lead to the congestion of interim treatment centres and dedicated COVID-19 hospitals.
“Thus, we will again see a delay in admitting a COVID-19 patients to hospitals in the Western Province and several other parts of the country,” he said.
The Ministry started the pilot project a month or so ago after a number of health unions urged it to come up with a mechanism to treat some patients at home.
“Under this system, asymptomatic patients can contact a doctor via the 1390 hotline. Once a doctor is assigned to the patient, he or she will monitor the patient until he can be taken to a treatment centre. This has allowed medical staff to focus on the priority groups like those above 60 and those with non-communicable diseases. This way we can not only manage hospital space properly but also reduce deaths. The project now works well in Kalutara and Colombo. We now need to expand it,” Dr. Fernando said.