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
Tag Archives: COVID-19
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
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
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.
Why did Jathika Chintanaya not save us from Western COVID thinking by taking PCR testing seriously?
As we as a nation and the government grope for answers on how to best tackle our second COVID-19 wave, there is no global consensus amongst experts or even amongst countries as to what are the most effective interventions or even what the goal is. Continue reading
The virus may be spreading much faster than official data suggest
The daily case reports from the Epidemiology Unit are the only data we have to assess the spread of the virus. A better measure would be a regularly updated or “now-casted” estimate of the current effective reproduction number (Reff), but the Epidemiology Unit does not publish this, and I have no idea if they estimate it on a regular basis. If they do, then maybe the spirit of the RTI legislation should encourage them to share it.
The data we do have are not reassuring. Continue reading
பி.சி.ஆர் பரிசோதனை திறன் குறித்து ஏப்ரல் மாதத்தில் எங்கள் ஐ.எச்.பி வெளியிட்ட மதிப்பீடுகள் இப்பொழுது பொருந்தாது – நம் தேவை கூடிவிட்டது
சமீபத்தில் பலரும் ஏப்ரல் மாத துவக்கத்தில். IHP-யில் நாங்கள் வெளியிட்ட பி.சி.ஆர் பரிசோதனை திறன் குறித்த மதிப்பீடுகளை பல முறை பார்த்துள்ளனர். இந்த மதிப்பீட்டை தொடர்ந்து புதுபிப்பதற்கு தேவையான ஆதாரம் IHP-க்கு இன்னும் கிடைக்கவில்லை, எனினும் இந்த மதிப்பீடுகளை நீங்கள் உபயோகிப்பவரானால் இது இப்பொழுது செல்லாது என்பதை உங்கள் கவனத்திற்கு கொண்டுவரவே இந்த வெளியீடு.
ஏப்ரல் மாதத்தில் ஒரு நாளில் சராசரியாக 6,000 பி.சி.ஆர் பரிசோதனைகள் செய்யப்பட வேண்டும் என வும், தேசிய பி.சி.ஆர் பரிசோதனை திறன் ஒரு நாளைக்கு 9,000 பரிசோதனைகளாக இருக்க வேண்டும் என்றும் மதிப்பிட்டிருந்தோம். எமது தற்போதைய தேவை அநேகமாக நாள் ஒன்றுக்கு 40 – 50,000 பரிசோதனைகளாக இருக்க வேண்டும்.