GMOA sets up Expert Committee to prepare report on Omicron | Daily News

GMOA sets up Expert Committee to prepare report on Omicron

The Government Medical Officers' Association (GMOA) recently set up a 12-member expert committee to study and prepare a report on how Sri Lanka should deal with the COVID Omicron variant and other new variants that may emerge in the future.

The Committee comprises clinical specialists, community health specialists, epidemiologists, virologists, tissue and chemotherapists, and medical professionals.

In a media statement issued by GMOA Secretary Dr. Senal Fernando, the report "Facing Omicron and the Future New Variants of SARS - CoV-2 virus" prepared by the Committee will be presented to the President, the Health Minister and the Health authorities.

The GMOA yesterday released this 12-member committee report to the media. It covers five key areas to look out for when dealing with Omicron or future COVID strains. The report and its recommendations can be applied to Sri Lanka in a practical manner, taking into account the latest scientific data, World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations, data from the CDC and the FDA in the United States, and the actions taken by various countries in Europe, Singapore, Israel, Australia and other countries to deal with the omicron variant.

The Expert Committee has identified the importance of defeating the myths on COVID vaccination and stressed the importance of administering the 3rd dose of COVID vaccine to more than 70 per cent of the population.

Despite experience in vaccination under the National Vaccination Program and scientific evidence that covid vaccine reduces mortality and complications, it is observed that the current vaccination process has suffered some setbacks due to the spread of various myths and anti-vaccine attitudes.

Strict legal action should be taken against those who spread myths and endanger the lives of the public in accordance with the provisions of the Penal Code and the Quarantine Act. Establishment of a pool of health staff to administer vaccinations at the district level. Complete vaccination progress analysis at the Grama Niladhari level.

Continue to monitor the myths spread in the society about vaccination and keep the public informed about the correct facts by the health sector.

January 29, 2022 marks the one year anniversary of the introduction of COVID vaccination in Sri Lanka and the launch of an vaccination promotion programme to evaluate all the staff who contributed to it and to make the public aware of the success of COVID vaccination.

The third dose should be given to all persons over 18 years of age and children over 12 years of age should be vaccinated as recommended by the National Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee.

Introduce a system to identify those who have been fully vaccinated in public places.

The Committee further stressed the importance of strengthening the testing process for the identification of Covid patients and introducing self-examination for COVID identification.

Strengthen the process of conducting genome sequencing of the patients entering the country through ports and airports and also the examination of random samples of patients with common cold symptoms who come to the outpatient departments.

The 12 member experts committee has also proposed to strengthen the home care system for COVID patients. As the number of patients increases, non-vulnerable patients should be admitted to the hospital.

Integrating the National Covid Information System and the Home Care Patient Information System. Educating the public about the method of caring for COVID patients at home and the method of referring patients for it.

General public should be made aware of the guidelines issued by the Director General of Health Services from time to time through all electronic and print media and the website of the Ministry of Health should be redesigned to make it accessible to the public at any time and also take necessary measures to promote research and evaluation of COVID testing.

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