Officials directed to pay special attention to senior citizens with long-term illnesses
Posted on August 13th, 2021

Courtesy Adaderana

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has informed the health officials to pay special attention to people above the age of 60 and are suffering from chronic non-communicable diseases.

A study carried out into the deaths reported during the last few days has revealed that majority of them were from the Western Province. It has been identified that a higher percentage of this group were persons aged over 60 years who suffer from non-communicable diseases and have not been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Hence, the President emphasized the need to devise a special mechanism by paying special attention to such senior citizens.

The President’s remarks came during the Special Committee on COVID-19 Control held at the Presidential Secretariat this morning (August 13).

The President said the priority should be given to those who are over the age of 60 and suffer from various diseases when conducting PCR and Rapid Antigen Tests. He also pointed out the need to isolate the patients who have undergone kidney transplants and those who are receiving dialysis.

The need to obtain information of the patients registered at the clinics in hospitals to receive treatment for non-communicable diseases, and bringing them to the special attention of Medical Officers of Health and the Public Health Inspectors was also discussed.

People over the age of 60 in the Western Province who have not yet been vaccinated due to various diseases have been identified. Chief of Defence Staff and Army Commander General Shavendra Silva said that steps have been taken to vaccinate them all over the next few days.

Having received just one dose is not enough to be safe against the virus, the medical specialists who are members of the COVID Committee, pointed out. People should act in a responsible manner after receiving both doses, until the immunization period is reached, they added.

Speaking further, the medical specialists emphasized that it was the duty and responsibility of the people to prevent mass gatherings, to stay home – unless they are called for essential services and duties – and to help prevent the spread of the disease by adhering to the health guidelines.

Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, State Ministers Sisira Jayakody and Prof. Channa Jayasumana, Principal Advisor to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Health Secretary Major General (Retd.) Dr. Sanjeewa Munasinghe, Chief of Defence Staff and Army Commander General Shavendra Silva, Director General of Health Services Dr. Asela Gunawardena and other members of the Committee also attended this meeting.

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