How is Sri Lanka managing the coronavirus pandemic – Setting a global example
Sri Lanka, dubbed as the pearl of the Indian ocean, is a very famous tropical destination among thousands. The island nation ranked as the number 01 tourist destination by lonely planet.
We did a thorough analysis of public health measures employed by Sri Lanka.
The point to ponder is how a properly organized preventive care plan can bring about astounding results in a pandemic situation.
Sri Lanka Health System – Brief
Sri Lankan health system has both public and private health care sectors. The public health system is free for all citizens. Going hand in hand, Sri Lanka has a free education system until graduate school for the last 60 years. Thanks to the free education system. Sri Lanka has trained thousands of well-qualified healthcare professionals and paramedical workforce for many decades through 9 well regulated and state of the art medical faculties covering all regions of the country. And, all free of charge. The doctors and paramedical staff receive post-graduate training and continuous medical education throughout their career.
Sri Lanka boasts to a well-planned radial public health institution system. The private health system is tightly regulated under the private health care regulatory commission and the government.
The island nation has a robust century-old community health program. Health statistics such as maternal and child mortality rates are the lowest in the region. In fact, comparable to the western world. The life expectancy is highest in the region. The paradise nation is 100% vaccination covered, and all treatments under the extended program of immunization are administered free of charge.
The ministry of health regulates and sets the guidance to the future policies of the health system.
Since the origin of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, Sri Lankan authorities started to take vigilance in stopping the potential danger. The military forces and the national intelligence service were put on high alert. The government created specialized aviation and border control expert teams, to track the movement of all inbound tourists and with a potential threat.
The first case
A 43-year-old lady from Hubei Province, China was the first confirmed case of Covid19 in Sri Lanka. The authorities immediately admitted the patient to the National Infectious Disease Hospital. She was isolated and treated by infectious disease specialists. The patient recovered uneventfully and was discharged back to China with a public farewell event.
One of the first countries to rescue and quarantine
Sri Lanka became one of the first countries to send rescue missions to Wuhan, China to evacuate 33 Sri Lankan families. The families were brought down via an exclusive carrier and quarantined in a unique quarantine facility. All potential contacts are observed continuously under quarantine.
The first local case
A 52-year-old Sri Lankan becomes positive for Covid 19. The patient has served as a travel guide to a group of Italians. The patient all contacts are quarantined and supervised.
The second local infected with the virus is detected. The 44-year-old man admitted to the infectious disease hospital, and they traced his contacts.
Sri Lankan government has requested the general public to practice proper hygiene methods and self-quarantine methods to safeguard from the disease.
The Sri Lankan government declared 16 March 2020, as a national public holiday to contain the coronavirus spreading in the country.
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa proposed plans to combat coronavirus to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) leaders during a video press conference. Sri Lankan President directed the authorities to implement quarantine centres to examine the foreigners and ordered relevant authorities to provide necessary essential services to the general public via the internet.
The Sri Lanka Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) requested the President to extend the Public holiday to 1 week, and close all ports of entry to the country. The government of Sri Lanka extended the public holidays to three days from 17 March to 19 March due to an increase in new cases except for health, banking, food supply and transportation.
The President ordered the banking sector not to overburden the coronavirus hit business sector, which is unable to repay the loans and ordered the banking sector further to extend the payback period to another six months.
Ministry of Health revealed that around 24 hospitals are available ready to tackle the coronavirus emergency.
The government decided to further extend the public holidays for eight days to both private and public sectors. Therefore, work from home for eight days was declared. The state-imposed island wise curfew to cease all public gatherings and movement. All potential contacts and people with travel history were registered by the local police authorities.
The government also urged the public not to utilize chloroquine at will. Many leading 4-star hotels offered their facilities to the government as quarantine facilities.
Sri Lankan authorities have reported 86 positive coronavirus cases and 0 deaths.
We have studied the responses of many countries to the coronavirus pandemic. We at healthreviewglobal.com decided to select Sri Lanka for its swift and impressive response to the global epidemic despite being a second world economy. On top of it, we learned the importance of investing in public health.
Sri Lankan authorities have published details of 2 more positive cases after a day of silence. The government has extended the local curfew for three urban districts suspecting more sporadic cases. According to local media, the police and state and private sector have arranged door to door food and necessity delivery services. Work at home policy got extended as well.
The island nation has closed its airports for arrivals since last week.
healthreviewglobal.com team brings more updates on the global coronavirus pandemic
Update since 2021
Sri Lanka’s Swift and Impressive Response to the COVID-19
Pandemic Sri Lanka, a small island nation in South Asia, has shown remarkable resilience and effectiveness in managing the global health crisis caused by the novel coronavirus.
Despite being a developing country with limited resources, Sri Lanka has implemented a comprehensive strategy of testing, tracing, isolating and treating COVID-19 cases, while also providing social and economic support to the affected population.
Sri Lanka has also received timely and flexible assistance from its development partners, such as the World Bank, to strengthen its health system and pandemic preparedness123. Sri Lanka’s response to the pandemic has been widely praised and recognized as one of the best in the world.
World Bank Mobilizes Resources and Provides Flexible Financing for Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 Response
The World Bank has been a key partner for Sri Lanka in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Bank quickly mobilized resources and prepared a project in just 10 working days to support Sri Lanka’s emergency needs. The project provided essential medical supplies, testing kits, personal protective equipment, contact tracing support, and quarantine facilities to the health authorities.
The project also enabled reimbursement for routine goods and operating expenditures for facilities that were engaged in the COVID-19 response, helping them to upgrade their wards to make them COVID-ready.
The project adopted a flexible approach to respond to urgent health needs, while also working to strengthen the country’s pandemic preparedness and response by establishing COVID-19 isolation and treatment facilities around the country, developing the existing laboratory system to improve and increase testing and diagnostic capacity, and strengthening the country’s infection control and surveillance systems. You can read more about the project here.
Current Situation of the Pandemic in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has successfully managed two waves of the pandemic, but is struggling to contain a third wave that began in April 2021. As of July 16, 2021, Sri Lanka has reported 284,673 confirmed cases and 3,749 deaths from COVID-194. The country has also administered 6.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, covering 29% of its population with at least one dose4.
The Government of Sri Lanka has implemented strict measures to curb the spread of the disease, such as island-wide travel restrictions and isolation areas5. The government has also urged the public to follow preventive measures, such as wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, and washing hands frequently5.
The government has also arranged door-to-door food and necessity delivery services for the people under lockdown5. The government is working to increase its testing and vaccination capacity, especially in high-risk areas and among vulnerable populations5.
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Sri Lanka’s Ranking in Terms of its Pandemic Response
Sri Lanka’s response to the pandemic has been ranked as one of the best in the world by various sources. In April 2020, Sri Lanka’s response to the pandemic was ranked as the 9th best in the world by Deep Knowledge Group, a consortium of companies and nonprofits that analyses data on various topics.
The ranking was based on 76 parameters, such as quarantine efficiency, monitoring and detection, emergency preparedness, health readiness, government efficiency, and regional resilience. In June 2020, Sri Lanka was ranked as the 16th safest country in the world during the COVID-19 pandemic by Global Finance Magazine, a monthly publication that covers international finance and economics.
The ranking was based on factors such as death rates, cases per million inhabitants, recovery rates, tests per million inhabitants, population density, GDP per capita, health expenditure per capita, and international arrivals per capita. In July 2020, Sri Lanka was ranked as the second-best country in South Asia in terms of its pandemic response by Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government.
The ranking was based on an index that measures how well governments have responded to the pandemic based on six indicators: containment policies, economic policies, health policies, vaccination policies, overall stringency of policies, and overall government response.
- 1:https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2020/04/01/world-bank-fast-track-support-covid19-corona 2:
- https://www.worldbank.org/en/results/2020/10/21/sri-lanka-covid-19-response-saving-lives-today-preparing-for-tomorrow 3:
- https://www.worldbank.org/en/results/2021/08/25/sri-lanka-s-covid-19-response-saving-lives-today-preparing-for-tomorrow 4:
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_pandemic_in_Sri_Lanka 5:
- https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/srilanka/coronavirus :
- https://www.dkv.global/covid-19 :
- https://www.gfmag.com/global-data/non-economic-data/safest-countries-in-the-world : https://covidtracker.bsg.ox.ac.uk/region/south-asia