Updated May 22nd, 2021.
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Rashmira Balasuriya BSc (Hons) MBBS PGCert (MedEd)
With the number of COVID-19 cases rising across the country, it is more likely than ever that we have either interacted with or know of a person who has been tested positive for COVID-19. And if we’re feeling a little temperature or a sore throat, our next thought tends to be “Should I take a PCR test?”. With the amount of ambiguity and daily change of regulations, we, at oDoc, want to keep you informed and updated with the latest news regarding COVID-19 processes in Sri Lanka.
What should you do after finding out you’ve been tested positive for COVID-19?
Contacting your local PHI
You can find out who your local PHI is from this website (On the navigation bar at the top, click ‘Find PHI’ and fill in your area details) The lab or hospital where you were tested for COVID-19 will also inform your local PHI and Ministry of Health.
Things you should keep in mind for your conversation with the PHI officer:
To reduce the burden on hospitals and COVID-19 care centers, the Ministry of Health has introduced the option of low risk COVID-19 patients isolating in their homes. If the Ministry of Health gives you the option of home quarantine and you agree to that option, here are a few things to keep in mind:
How will you be accessed during home isolation?
The PHI will keep a check on you while you’re at home. You can choose to do audio or video consultations with a GP. You must inform your PHI or MoH on your choice of doctor. Taking care of your mental health during this period of isolation is also important and can help in making you feel better, so consider speaking to a mental health professional during this time as well.
During your home isolation period, you can purchase Home Care with oDoc. Here’s what you have access to:
A minimum of 14 days is required for the home isolation period. The Ministry of Health and your doctor will make the decision on when you should stop the home isolation period. This will depend on your symptoms and how many days have passed since the onset of symptoms. If the MoH decides you can remove yourself from isolation, it is still recommended that you quarantine at home for a further 14 days.
Government/Private Care Centers
If the PHI/MoH decides that you need to be treated at a hospital or care center, there are options to stay in a government care center for free or a private care center for a fee. If you choose to quarantine at a private care center, you can find all the information on space availability, rates and medical support here.
You may have to remain at home before a bed becomes available at a COVID care center. If you need to remain at home for a few days, please follow the above guidelines. Your local PHI will transfer you to an Intermediate COVID care center when a bed becomes available to you.
Discharge Process at Care Centers
The length of quarantine and discharge process is different for each person who has been tested positive for COVID-19. This depends on the severity of COVID-19 symptoms, the cycle threshold value of the initial PCR test done on admission (more information here) and the clinical fitness of the patient.
Currently, the length of quarantine and discharge policy at care centers are as follows for most patients.
Please keep in mind, this process can change due to the rise in COVID-19 patients and can also vary between patients depending on their condition.
How long after you’ve recovered from COVID-19 can you take the vaccine?
If you’ve had a mild/moderate version of COVID-19, you can take the vaccine 2 weeks after recovery. If you’ve had a severe form of the disease AND received monoclonal antibody/plasma therapy as part of your treatment, you will have to wait at least 1 month before vaccination.
We will continue to update this article if and when regulations change so keep checking this space for any COVID-19 related news in Sri Lanka.
If you would like to read more about the SinoPharm and Sputnik vaccines, read more here.
If you or a loved one would like further advice on COVID-19 symptoms, consult with our on-demand GPs who are available 24/7. You can download oDoc here.