I was asked the other day for my thoughts on the local approval and use of Sinovac, so just sharing my general take on this. Sinovac was given an emergency use license (EUL) by our Sri Lanka NMRA on 16 July 2021, six weeks after WHO had given its EUL (1 Jun 2021). We have not since purchased it as far as I know and certainly not used it, so why? Continue reading
Some thoughts on vaccination
I’ve been asked several times what I think of the government’s vaccination strategy. This is not easy to answer, because the strategy is neither transparent nor explained well. Recent events have shown also that there is conflict within even MOH in implementing it. I know that many officials within MOH are trying to do their best, but it’s also evident that they face huge internal difficulties in crafting and implementing a sensible approach.
As I have said previously, Minister Dr Sudarshini Fernandopulle and Dr Amal Harsha De Silva should be commended for clearly saying that the aim is to cover most Sri Lankans and not to rely only on free COVAX donations. But I still have concerns about what the overall goals are, plus whether risks have been properly factored into the assessment of what is an optimal strategy. I also suspect that our typical bureaucratic processes may not be fast or adaptive enough to manage the uncertainties and rapid changes in information that we are seeing. Continue reading
Health guidelines for the Tourism Pilot Project
The health guidelines or protocol to be followed when allowing in tourists with relaxed quarantine procedures has been reported on in the media. A copy of what I believe are the guidelines is linked here:
Health Guidelines for Tourism Pilot Project
These guidelines appear to be issued by the Minister of Tourism and were sent to the Chairperson of the SLTDA on 27 December 2020. Continue reading
EconomyNext interview about vaccines (20 December 2020)
I gave a hurried interview to EconomyNext about vaccines, which they used in their new article here, published on 20 December 2020.
I need to write properly on this. But bottom line: vaccines are no magic bullet. Continue reading
Just published in Health Affairs! Our global study of the impact of PCR testing on COVID-19 transmission
Big news! I am pleased to share that our global study of the impact of PCR testing on COVID-19 transmission was just published in USA by Health Affairs:
Ravi P. Rannan-Eliya, Nilmini Wijemunige, JRNA Gunawardana, Sarasi N. Amarasinghe, Ishwari Sivagnanam, Sachini Fonseka, Yasodhara Kapuge, and Chathurani P. Sigera. 2021. Increased Intensity Of PCR Testing Reduced COVID-19 Transmission Within Countries During The First Pandemic Wave. Health Affairs, 2021 (January).
We can’t prevent new outbreaks unless we understand why we did not stop the current one
Once again, emphatic declarations are being made that there is zero risk of new COVID-19 clusters, just as earlier there were declarations that we had defeated COVID-19. I don’t have such confidence, because I see no evidence that the errors that allowed the current outbreaks to happen have been rectified. Continue reading
Effectiveness of face-masks in controlling COVID-19—and why PCR testing might be cheaper
I recently tweeted that most people in Sydney in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. don’t wear masks and they seem to be doing just fine—zero cases of local transmission in past two weeks despite 200,000 tests. One twitter user was bothered by my nonchalance and asked not unreasonably for links to the evidence … Continue reading
I am also tweeting…
I have avoided joining Twitter and most social media until now. But it’s a useful channel to share thoughts which I don’t have time to write properly in this blog, and it does reach a wider and different audience. I will tweet blog posts in future if I think they deserve a wider audience, but the more substantive thoughts will remain here. Link here to my twitter account. Continue reading
கோவிட் -19 வைரஸ் உத்தியோகபூர்வ தரவுகளில் கூறப்படுவதை விட அதிவேகமாக பரவி கொண்டிருக்க கூடும்.
தொற்று பரவும் வேகம் பற்றி புரிந்துகொள்ள நம்மிடம் உள்ள ஒரே தரவு/இலக்கு தொற்றியல் பிரிவு தினமும் வெளியிடும் தொற்றாளரின் எண்ணிக்கை. இதைவிட உகந்த இலக்கு effective reproduction number என்று குறிப்பிடப்படும் இனப்பெருக்க எண்ணின்(Reff), குறு(ங்) கால அறிக்கை. தொற்று நோயியல் பிரிவு இதை வெளியிடுவதில்லை. இத்தரவு அவர்கள் வழக்கமாக கணிக்கும் ஒன்றா என்பதும் நமக்குத் தெரியாது. அப்படி கணித்தால் தகவல் அறியும் உரிமையின்(RTI ) சட்டத்தின் சாரத்தின்படி அதனை அவர்கள் வெளியிட்டால் நன்றாக இருக்கும்.
நம்மிடம் தற்போது உள்ள தரவு ஆறுதல் தரும் விதத்தில் இல்லை. Continue reading
නිල දත්ත වලින් පිලිඹිබු වනවාට වඩා වේගයෙන් කොවිඩ්-19 වෛරසය පැතිර යමින් පැවතිය හැකිය.
වෛරසය පැතිරීම තක්සේරු කිරීම සඳහා අප දත්ත ලබා ගන්නේ වසංගත රෝග විද්යා ඒකකයේ දෛනික සිද්ධි වාර්තා වලින්ය . වඩා හොඳ මිනුමක් වනුයේ, පලදායී ප්රජනන අංකය (Reff) හා අදාල දැනට පවතින නිරන්තරයෙන් යාවත්කාලීන කරන ලද හෝ “දැන් සකස් කර ඇති” තක්සේරුගත දත්තයන් ය. නමුත් වසංගත රෝග විද්යා ඒකකය මෙය ප්රකාශයට පත් නොකරන අතර ඔවුන් එය නිතිපතා තක්සේරු කරන්නේ දැයි මට අදහසක් නැත. ඔවුන් එසේ කරන්නේ නම්, තොරතුරු දැනගැනීමේ අයිතිවාසිකම යටතේ එය බෙදා ගැනීමට RTI නීති සම්පාදන විසින් ඔවුන්ව දිරිමත් කළ යුතුය.
අප සතුව ඇති දත්ත සහතික කල හැකි තත්වයක නොපවතී.