The Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) yesterday (24) said that since 21 August, it had received approximately 5,000 calls from Covid-19 patients.
Speaking at a media briefing, SLMA Immediate Past President and Doc Call 24/7 SLMA Working Group Member Prof. Indika Karunathilake noted that about 5,000 patients had sought medical advice concerning Covid-19 from the round-the-clock service within the course of four days, and also explained the procedure to be followed by the public when accessing this service, The Morning reported.
“The 24/7 hotline works as a 24-hour volunteer service run by medical professionals. The waiting time for each patient, at the moment, is about two minutes. If we recognise that a patient needs immediate emergency care, we send a text message with the patient’s details to the 1990 Suwaseriya Emergency Ambulance Service and to the Covid-19 Centre at the Health Ministry. In this way, the nearest hospital bed is procured for the patient as soon as possible. We direct patients who need hospital treatment but are not regarded as emergency cases to intermediate treatment centres. This service is difficult to access instantly due to the present situation; therefore, in the meantime, we advise patients to get as much rest, nutritious meals, and fluids as possible, while staying in a well-ventilated environment. These patients are also requested to send a text message to the 1904 hotline, run by the Covid-19 National Centre, after which they are added to the waiting list for available beds,” Prof. Karunathilake elaborated.