In the absence of social distancing one can spread COVID-19 to at least 500 persons in 30 days, Government Medical Officers' Association (GMOA) warned. Its secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said 50% of social distancing is effective in curbing the number up to 15, and 70%, up to 2.5%.
Closing down the airport, schools with a declaration of holidays from March 16 to 19 have has spawned 50% of social distancing, he added.
"102 patients are now reported and 32 of them have directly come from quarantine centres. Excluding them 70 have come from the society. If multiplied by 8 it would be 560. Although we may think of the 70 some people, there could have been over 500 others in the society. That would be very serious. We would be able to win this fight only if we are able to separate these contacts. The authorities have a responsibility, so are the public. If we are able to adopt this mechanism we would be able to prevent a pandemic by April 07."
The first Sri Lankan corona patient was reported on March 11, and it is likely that a total travel of positive patients was taken place until March 15, the GMOA pointed out, adding that 70% of social distancing was achieved with imposition of curfew since Match 20.
However, when curfew is temporarily lifted this achievement is likely to be lost, it warned.
Dr. Aluthge said that there could be four stages of this disease being spread across the country.
"There could be four stages of this disease being spread across the country. We are currently at a state in which the disease is being spread by very small groups of people - the third stage. The third stage has two sub groups as the disease could be spread domestically and outside throughout villages and the society. Aggressive response over further spread would be mandatory. If we let the disease spread there would be reports on 100 - 200 patients on a daily basis concluding thousands collapsing our entire health system. People would die before our own eyes. Therefore, we urge to think of this in a serious manner. No matter what good measures the government takes if the public does not adapt - hitting down the streets when they are told not to, behaving irresponsibly in domestic spaces when they are told not to - the most critical stage of this disease would be not far from weeks, we warn."
Therefore, it is the duty of the public to comply with these instructions, it further said.