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Ethical Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic—Lessons from Sri Lanka

Ethical Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic—Lessons from Sri Lanka The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly become an era-defining challenge for the entire world. It has implications not only in the public health sector but also in the global economy and political landscape. The prevention strategy that has been followed in Sri Lanka is unique. Early action taken by the government and the ministry of health, being one of pre-emptive quarantining and isolation of suspected contacts even before they developed symptoms, was vital to contain the spread of the disease. During the early phase, a nationwide lockdown in the form of a curfew was imposed which helped mitigate the spread of the virus. However, due to several lapses, there was a threat of community transmission; this was swiftly brought under control through ongoing government interventions. Thus, strict social/physical distancing measures enforced by the government, together with an increase in testing capacity, prevented widespread community transmission. Strictly containing the outbreaks as and when they were identified made it easier to bring the spread under control through contact tracing. In this article, we give an account of the strategy taken by Sri Lanka to mitigate the pandemic and comment on the lessons learned concerning the ethical responses to the COVID-19 crisis. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asian Bioethics Review Springer Journals

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © National University of Singapore and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020
ISSN
1793-8759
eISSN
1793-9453
DOI
10.1007/s41649-020-00153-z
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly become an era-defining challenge for the entire world. It has implications not only in the public health sector but also in the global economy and political landscape. The prevention strategy that has been followed in Sri Lanka is unique. Early action taken by the government and the ministry of health, being one of pre-emptive quarantining and isolation of suspected contacts even before they developed symptoms, was vital to contain the spread of the disease. During the early phase, a nationwide lockdown in the form of a curfew was imposed which helped mitigate the spread of the virus. However, due to several lapses, there was a threat of community transmission; this was swiftly brought under control through ongoing government interventions. Thus, strict social/physical distancing measures enforced by the government, together with an increase in testing capacity, prevented widespread community transmission. Strictly containing the outbreaks as and when they were identified made it easier to bring the spread under control through contact tracing. In this article, we give an account of the strategy taken by Sri Lanka to mitigate the pandemic and comment on the lessons learned concerning the ethical responses to the COVID-19 crisis.

Journal

Asian Bioethics ReviewSpringer Journals

Published: Nov 3, 2020

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