25 May, 2021: According to the Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry, Sri Lanka reported its highest cases of persons infected with the COVID-19 virus on 19 May with 3,623 patients identified within the day. A total of 1,243 deaths have been reported as at 11 p.m. on 24 May, amidst concerns raised by health experts who recommend an islandwide lockdown and state officials extending periods of travel restrictions, in order to curb the spread of the virus within the country. Security forces and medical personnel are contributing their fullest to respond to the needs of persons affected by the virus. With most hospitals reaching capacity, quarantine centres manned by military personnel are performing an immense service to the nation at a time of crisis. Medical personnel too are faced with the herculean task of attending to the needs of an increasing number of patients, amidst a limited supply of medical equipment.
Recognising the great need at quarantine centres across Sri Lanka, LEADS responded to requests for help from the administration of quarantine centres in Kandakadu, Ampara and Palamunai. With the recent rise in the spread of the virus, the medical, logistical and psychosocial needs in these centres too have risen as patients seeking the care and safety of quarantine reach an all time high. LEADS was successful in raising support with the help of the public and providing for the urgent requirements at the Kandakadu Quarantine Centre. The military personnel at the Kandakadu Quarantine Centre faced a unique situation as elephants approaching the site posed a safety threat to the centre. In response to this need, LEADS provided LED search-lights to keep the elephants at bay along with other essential needs such as water pumps, water boilers, ceiling fans and a 1000 litre water tank for the use of the centre.
As its main course of intervention, LEADS also supports the needs arising in hospitals and is currently raising support with the help of the public and its support network for the medical and psychosocial needs of three centres in Ampara, under the directives of the Ampara Regional Director of Health. Thus far, LEADS has also provided medical equipment such as wheelchairs and hygiene packs to the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Kilinochchi.
Apart from these interventions, LEADS is also raising support for medical needs, including high-flow nasal oxygen machines for the use of hospitals as well as PPE and hygiene packs for Divisional Secretariats and local authorities. LEADS will also provide dry rations for 435 families and 200 religious institutions that are economically affected by the spread of the pandemic and the periods of travel restriction. Assistance in the form of dry rations and psychosocial care will also be distributed among Child Development Centres in the Western Province as well as centres in the Badulla and Monaragala Districts.
“The situation we face as a nation is unprecedented” notes Chief Executive Officer of LEADS, Monroe Jayasuriya. “Each citizen is presented with the task of rising to the occasion and being more attentive to the needs of their neighbours.” Jayasuriya also expressed his gratitude on behalf of the organisation to all who joined hands with LEADS in supporting the needs at the Kandakadu Quarantine Centre, while thanking the LEADS’ network for the immense support received thus far. “We are touched by the generosity of the Sri Lankan people and the solidarity of our partners. As the need for support grows even greater in the face of this third wave, we hope you will continue to stand with us as we reach out to those who are most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
LEADS is a national agency which works towards creating safer spaces and brighter futures for the children of Sri Lanka. As an approved charity, LEADS’ work is integrated in recognising the child as part of a family, community and the nation, through its work with survivors of abuse, underprivileged communities and those at risk of natural and man-made disasters, both at grassroot and national policy level. Over the years, LEADS has responded to several socio-natural crisis situations that have arisen – from the 30-year civil war to the Asian Tsunami of 2004 to the recent COVID-19 pandemic. LEADS’ support during the past year, in the form of dry rations for persons affected, hygiene kits and safety equipment for local government authorities, hand-wash units for schools and emergency centres and livelihoods for rural households affected by the pandemic, reached the most vulnerable communities across the island.
LEADS continues to raise support for quarantine centres, hospitals, Child Development Centres and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We appeal to the public to join hands with us and donate towards ongoing efforts in raising support for our relief efforts by donating online via www.leads.lk/donate For more details on how you could support ongoing interventions, please contact Manishi on (+94) 77 307 3955 or [email protected]