By Kumudini Hettiarachchi
A sharp rise has been seen in the number of COVID-19 patients seeking treatment at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) this week and many warned that it may be an “early signal” of what to expect from other parts of the country.
This week, the NHSL saw more than 200 COVID-19 patients seeking treatment daily, said an NHSL source, pointing out that it may be an indication of a spike in illness in the Colombo district as well as the Western Province.
Analysing the numbers over the past few months, the source said that in late May and early June when the country was in the grip of the third wave due to Alpha (the United Kingdom variant), the numbers rose to about 180 per day.
“However, by end-June, the numbers dropped to half, about 90, but now there is a sharp rise once again at the NHSL. We are not sure whether there is such a trend in other hospitals across the country,” the source added, questioning whether it was an “early sign” of a spike due to the spread of the Delta variant.
One major COVID-19 Treatment Hospital confirmed that it had been receiving more transfers from NHSL but not from other areas like Avissawella.
Dr. Ruwan Wijayamuni,, Chief Medical Officer of Health of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), however, told the Sunday Times that no rise in numbers has been experienced in the city. He attributed it to high vaccination levels.
“So far, so good,” he said, adding that they get about 50 COVID-19 positive people a day and no increase has been seen.