One more round of discussions, held last afternoon (6) at the National Operations Centre for Prevention of COVID- 19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) at Rajagiriya re-visited the transmission of the deadly virus, its current behavioral patterns and evaluated the status quo concerning PCR test procedures, existing strategies, and their repercussions, co-operation between those responsible authorities and new cases/inmates in hospitals and the state of Quarantine Centres (QCs), etc.
The discussion was headed by Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Head of the (NOCPCO), Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army, and Dr. Asela Gunawardana, Director General of Health Services. Also, Deputy Director-General Laboratory, Dr. Saman Rathnayake, representatives from Nawaloka Hospital, Asiri Hospital, Lanka Hospital, Durdans Hospital, and a few more Medical Specialists participated in the discussions.
The meeting at first wanted to know the capacity of private sector hospitals (among those participating) to conduct PCR tests daily and as regards charges for PCR tests. Head, NOCPCO wanted everyone in the private hospital sector to streamline the PCR capacity, prices, and test procedures.
“Such charges and practices have been carried out without informing the NOCPCO or receiving any guidelines to that effect. However, all private sector hospitals are expected to conduct such tests at the Katunayake and Biyagama Garment factory under the supervision of the BOI and co-ordination affected by Navy troops where results of those PCR tests could be known within 24 hours. A common rate for all PCR tests should be maintained, “the attendees were requested by the meeting.
Also, all factories were requested to conduct population sample tests, at least among 1% of its workforce to avoid any imminent eruption of new clusters in the future.