Ministry Committee to probe recent COVID deaths | Daily News

Ministry Committee to probe recent COVID deaths

GMOA wants thorough review into home casualties
GMOA Secretary  Dr. Senal Fernando
GMOA Secretary Dr. Senal Fernando

The Health Ministry has taken measures to conduct a probe into the recent COVID-19 deaths in Colombo amidst the second wave of infections, Health Services Deputy Director General Dr. Hemantha Herath said yesterday.

Accordingly a three-member committee comprising the Primary Health Services Director Dr. Priyantha Atapattu, Consultant Dr. Hasitha Tissera of the Epidemiology Unit and Consultant Dr. Ajith Tennakoon has been appointed to conduct a scientific review into the COVID 19 related home deaths reported recently.

Dr Herath stated that eight out of the 22 deaths with the onset of the second corona wave were reported as home deaths. Some of them died while undergoing quarantine and certain deaths were reported from isolated areas.

“There had been several reports of coronavirus patients dying at home in the Colombo district. Investigations were underway to determine whether there was an epidemiological or health cause for the deaths at home. Coronavirus infection could lead to pneumonia or other complications and we want to see whether the COVID-19 virus had directly or indirectly contributed to the recent deaths.” he said.

Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) Secretary Dr. Senal Fernando said the Director General of Health Services has appointed a committee to review recent COVID related deaths following a request made by the GMOA.

“We believe that this committee would be able to conduct a more thorough review on deaths caused by theCOVID-19 virus,” The GMOA Secretary said.

Dr. Fernando told the media yesterday that about 50 percent of recent COVID- 19 deaths have occurred at home and that these conditions need to be reviewed.

Health Ministry Media Spokesman Dr. Jayaruwan Bandara yesterday said that the COVID-19 pandemic has made people reluctant to visit hospitals due to fear of catching the coronavirus.

“There is no reason to panic or get stressed.

People with certain medical issues stay home due to the fear of catching the coronavirus.Unfortunately few incidents of COVID-19 related suicides also reported.” he said.

Dr. Bandara further said that the people should learn to live with COVID-19. Nearly 80 percent of COVID-19 positive patients recovered without showing any symptom. The majority of patients who are critically ill with COVID-19 have also been recovered.

“If patients follow the COVID-19 safety protocols they can safeguard themselves while visiting the hospitals. Mask wearing, hand hygiene and physical distancing all have a role to play in avoiding COVID-19,” he added.