167 new COVID-19 patients in Sri Lanka; total cases rise to 5,977

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan health officials identified 167new COVID-19 patients over a 24-hour period that ended at 6am today (22), the National Operations Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 (NOCPOC) said.

Of the 167 patients, one is a returnee from Ethiopia. Of the 166 local patients, all are close contacts of the Minuwangoda cluster

With the new cases, total confirmed COVID-19 patients in the island has risen to 5,977. Some 356 individuals are currently under investigation in hospitals, with 2,463 active cases.

As at 6am today, 44 Sri Lankan patients returned home upon recovery, bringing total recoveries in Sri Lanka to 3,501. Of these 44, four are returnees from abroad and 40 are patients from the Minuwangoda cluster.

The number of patients reported from the Minuwangoda cluster has increased to 2,510 with the new 166 positive cases identified.

NOCPOC reports showed that after the first positive case of the Divulapitiya cluster was discovered by health authorities on October 03, within the first week the cluster increased to 1,186 and by October 22 to 2,510, with 1,207 employees and 1,303 close contacts being identified as positive cases.

Some 165 people ended their quarantine at military-run centres yesterday, according to NOCPOC. A total of 56,112 people have completed quarantine so far.

Meanwhile, the number of people in quarantine in 69 centres run by the armed forces is 7,754.

A total of 406,466 PCR tests have been conducted in the island so far, with 8,568 tests carried out yesterday. NOCPOC reports said, adding that the results of some PCR tests are still pending.

Sri Lanka as at October 22 records 13 COVID-19 related deaths.

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Sri Lanka police imposed quarantine curfew in Kuliyapitiya, Pannala Giriulla, Narammala and Dummalasuriya police jurisdictions, the towns of Minuwangoda, Divulapitiya, Veyangoda, Gampaha, Kirindiwela, Dompe, Pugoda, Ganemulla, Weeragula, Weliweriya, Malwathuhiripitiya, Nittambuwa, Meerigama, Pallewela, Yakkala, Ja-ela, Seeduwa and Kandana Police areas Aththanagalla, Meerigama divisional secretary areas as well as Maligathanna, Kurigama, Eluwapitiya villages and Katunayaka have also been locked down with new patients being discovered in those areas.

Hospitals in Minuwangoda, Welikanda, Iranawila, Rambukkana, Kamburugamuwa, Kattankudi, Hambanthota, Theldeniya, Mulleriyawa, as well as the Infectious Diseases Hospital and the Neville Fernando Hospital and the Homagama, Ambalpola and Laggala, Pallegama hospitals have been taken over by the health services department to treat COVID-19 patients.

So far 331 patients have been reported from the free trade zone where 263 are from the ‘Next Manufactures’, 65 from the ‘Chiefway garment’, One from ‘Cosmo Loadstar’ Ja ela, Custom Office Colombo and, Micro pvt Ltd Peliyagoda.

Meanwhile, authorities locked down four areas in Matugama as a mini-cluster of infections were found. Ovitigala, Badugama, Badugma Nawa Janapadaya in the Matugama Divisional Secretariat had been isolated.

Sri Lanka’s health officials detected another 12 COVID-19 infection cases in the Colombo Dockyard, a Sri Lankan shipbuilding unit of Japan’s Onomichi Dockyard yesterday.

Out of the 12, six stay at the dockyard housing scheme in Bloemendhal Colombo 13, and are residents of Ragama, Matugama, Wananupuwa, Galle,Negambo and Mulatiyana Matara.

Another 20 first-contacts found from the housing scheme were also sent to a quarantine facility in Jaffna, NOCPOC said

Meanwhile, an unspecified number of employees of MAS Holdings, Sri Lanka’s largest apparel manufacturer, have tested positive for COVID-19, the company said in an official statement.

On Tuesday (20), another positive case was reported from the World Trade Centre Sri Lanka. WTC sources said the patient is an employee of Acuity Knowledge Partners Lanka Pvt Ltd.

The 32nd floor of the WTC western tower has been disinfected and all contacts of the patients have been traced for testing, authorities said.

Authorities imposed curfews in Mattakkuliya, Modara, Bloemendal, Grandpass and Wellampitiya police areas, the state information office said after the discovery of sub-cluster of infected persons around a fish-market in Peliyagoda where officials had suspected cross-infections.

The state information department said today that curfew has been imposed in these areas until further notice.

Sri Lanka’s anti-Coronavirus task force had been analyzing the data from the fish-market, where officials had said cross-infections may have taken place with the main cluster in Minuwangoda. (Colombo/Oct22/2020)

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