Sri Lanka records highest Covid-19 deaths, hospitals exceed capacity

Colombo: Sri Lanka is to face the worst ever Covid-19 outbreak as the island nation has recorded the highest number of single-day deaths, with hospitals exceeding capacity.

The health authorities announced on Wednesday that 82 deaths were reported with 4,727 new cases.

With the new figure, Sri Lanka’s overall caseload and death toll stood at 3,18,775 and 4,727, respectively.

With the outbreak of the Delta variant and overflow of patients, the Ratnapura General Hospital and Karapitiya Teaching Hospital have declared emergencies.

Due to the unabated spread of the Delta variant and also an exponential rise in oxygen demand, medical experts have urged the Sri Lankan government to reconsider its decision to lift Covid-19 restrictions.

The Association of Medical Specialists (AMS) requested the government to revisit the curfew-style travel restrictions imposed in May and June to control the fast-spreading pandemic as the sector’s capacity to treat the growing number of patients has “virtually reached its tipping point”.

In a statement, the AMS also warned that it’s a matter of days till the demand for oxygen exceeds supply.

“The lack of oxygen, or more importantly the lack of an oxygen delivery mechanism to patients’ bedsides could cause deaths,” the experts warned.

They said further relaxation of Sri Lanka’s Covid-19 restrictions against this backdrop is like adding fuel to the fire.

On Tuesday, an international health expert warned that Sri Lanka was going to face the worst-ever outbreak in the months ahead.

Professor Malik Peiris, Head of Virology at the University of Hong Kong said “the Delta variant, which played havoc in India, I’m afraid I have to say it is going to have a major impact on Sri Lanka in the coming weeks”.

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