Sri Lanka’s Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Dr. Rajitha Senaratne has instructed the Director General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe to provide all the facilities needed to treat patients who suffer from a viral respiratory disease spreading in the South.
Accordingly, 10 high-flow oxygen machines which are needed to treat the patients have been given to the Karapitiya Hospital and all facilities requested by the doctors will be provided, the Director General of Health Services said.
Several children under one year of age and elderly people who were infected with the viral disease have died while at present around 600 people are receiving treatment in Karapitiya Teaching Hospital, Matara General Hospital, Elpitiya, Kamburupitiya, Tangalle and Walasmulla Base Hospitals, Southern Province Health Service Directors office said.
During the past month, children in Galle and Matara districts have shown symptoms of pneumonia, the Director General of Health Services said. These children have experienced fever and shown symptoms of respiratory tract infection.
Following laboratory tests it has been found that the disease is caused by an influenza virus. During the last few years in Sri Lanka, there were signs of rise in virus-related illnesses in the months of May, June and July.
Health authorities have taken many steps to minimize the spread of the disease while facilities needed for the management of patients have been provided.
The authorities have taken steps to minimize the number of people visiting the resident patients in hospitals and patients with respiratory distress are being kept in separate wards. Awareness programs are also in progress, the authorities said.
The Director General of Health Services requests the people to follow personal hygiene methods and use a mask to cover the mouth and nose while washing hands with soap and avoiding crowded areas to minimize the exposure to virus.
He asked the people to seek treatment immediately if they show experience symptoms of respiratory illness.
The Director General of Health Services requests the parents to refrain from sending their children to pre-schools, schools and tuition classes if they are showing symptoms of illness.
Children under the age of two, pregnant mothers, breast feeding mothers, and adults with respiratory problems are at high risk, the official said.