The Head of the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak, Commander of the Army General Shavendra Silva has defended the activities of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
Army Commander General Shavendra Silva said the Presidential Task Force does not take decisions arbitrarily but considers the inputs of several factions including the health experts.
The Army Commander was responding to criticism of the activities of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
Speaking to media in Kandy today, General Shavendra Silva said decisions of the Task Force which is led by the President and the Operation Centre are taken after careful consideration of inputs of Cabinet Ministers, health experts and other professionals.
The Army Commander said therefore the criticism of their actions cannot be justified and the public should be mindful of the facts.
General Shavendra Silva also claimed that the general public has been praising the efforts of the Sri Lanka Army and Tri-Forces personnel especially in relation to the vaccination drive.
Meanwhile, commenting on the island-wide home-based isolation and treatment programme which commenced today, the Army Commander said the initiative was launched three months ago as a pilot project in the Kalutara district.
The island-wide programme of the Ministry of Health to initiate a home-based isolation and treatment system for asymptomatic and COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms got underway earlier today.
The Health Ministry last week issued a set of guidelines on providing home-based care for low-risk COVID-19 patients.
General Shavendra Silva said following the success of the pilot project in Kalutara, it was expanded to the Colombo and Gampaha districts and now will be implemented across the country. He said the programme will help reduce hospital admissions especially at a time, the number of daily coronavirus cases are rising at an alarming rate.
Army Commander General Shavendra Silva added that at present, the Public Health Inspectors and Medical Officers of Health are tracking down coronavirus infected individuals and directing them to hospitals.
He said the same process will be followed but the PHI and MOH officers will now determine whether a patient can be given home-based care based on the severity of the infection.
The Army Commander noted however all symptomatic COVID-19 patients will continue to be directed to hospitals.