Protecting older adults of Sri Lanka amid COVID-19

2020-03-20T16:41:15Z (GMT) by Keshini Madara Marasinghe
Older adults are at a higher risk of dying from COVID-19 and the risk is much higher in low and middle-income countries. Lloyd-Sherlock, P. et al raise four concerns that needs to be considered when developing public health and clinical responses to COVID-19 to protect older adults in LMICs and this paper applies these concerns to the context of Sri Lanka and provides simple and immediate measures to proactively prevent the spread of COVID-19 among older adults in Sri Lanka. These measures include but does not limit to: 1) considering the difficulties health care system may face in the case of a COVID-19 surge and taking immediate preventative measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the country; 2) implementing measures in LTCs to prevent the spread among LTC residents and staff; 3) proactively including older adults especially those who are dependent and from remote areas in government responses; and 4) taking into considerations family dynamics unique to Sri Lanka and providing supportive measures to reduce exposure through government and other available resources. Sri Lanka being a LMIC and therefore more vulnerable, must take immediate actions to minimize the impacts COVID-19 could potentially have on the country, while there is still time.