01st June 2021 10:33:55 Hours


The latest Special Intensive Care Unit (SICU), the second of its kind, initiated by the Ministry of Health at the Colombo East Base Hospital at Mulleriyawa was opened this morning (21), in an effort to further supplement the national health care infrastructure, in the face of looming threat of COVID-19. At present, 8 Wards with 150 beds for exclusive treatment of COVID-19 patients are functional and the new SICU remained a long-felt requirement of this Colombo East Hospital.

Sponsored totally by the management of Seylan Bank PLC with generous support of its staffers, the new SICU was completely constructed by 1 Corps of Engineer Service (1CES) troops of the Sri Lanka Army while offering technical expertise and human resources, thus saving a large chunk of funds to the state coffers, contrary to what has earlier been estimated in the original plan.

Hon Minister of Health and Indigenous Medical Services, Mrs Pavithra Devi Wanniarachchi, together with Head, NOCPCO, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army, General Shavendra Silva and Chief Executive Officer/ Director, Seylan Bank PLC Mr Kapila Ariyaratne, unveiled a plaque and vested this infectious disease treatment unit formally in the Ministry of Health for recovery of COVID-19 infectees.

Secretary to Ministry of Health, Major General Sanjeewa Munasinghe and Senior staffers at Seylan Bank, Hospital Staff and Army Senior Officers were also associated with the inaugural event.

The SICU, equipped with four new ICU beds along with all amenities, like oxygen, etc similar to those in the main Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) at Mulleriyawa is considered the second such hospital for the same purpose in the same nearby area and is situated adjoining the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) beds for sick or premature babies with all facilities.

The project proposal submitted jointly by the Hospital and Ministry was readily approved by Seylan Bank PLC management, considering the emergency nature of the national need. Ministry of Health in turn sought the assistance of General Shavendra Silva, Head, NOCPCO for its implementation with less cost.

Accordingly, the manpower and technical expertise of the Corps of Engineer Service of the Sri Lanka Army completed the project in less than two weeks on the directions of General Shavendra Silva through the Director General of Health Services (DGHS).

This Special Intensive Care Unit with its high standard clinical area for 4 patients is able to treat a maximum of 5 to 6 critically ill patients and is equipped with a special infection control pressure system unit. Although the project was originally estimated at about Rs 50 million, the Army support slashed the entire cost by about Rs 13 million. Similarly, the assistance was provided by Seylan Bank technical officers for installation of the power supply to the location while joining hands with Army personnel.

Towards the end of the brief inaugural occasion, Hon Minister of Health and the CEO of the Seylan Bank, appreciative of the Army's dedicated national services, awarded separate special mementos to the Army Chief and commended the Army contribution. General Shavendra Silva at the same occasion praised the Army team work and awarded a pictorial memento to the senior Non-Commissioned Officer who supervised the project throughout.

This unit as a valuable investment to this hospital which has been nursing hundreds of infected pregnant women and others in the past couple of months has been structured to provide easy and safe treatment to non-COVID-19 patients even after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.