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208 new COVID-19 patients over past 24 hours in Sri Lanka; total cases at 4,459

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan health authorities identified 208 new COVID-19 patients as at 11.00am today (08), the National Operations Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 (NOCPOC) said.

Of the 208 patients, five are returnees from abroad –  three having returned from Russia and two sailors from India while the rest are the Brandix apparel factory supervisor from Divulapitiya in the Gampaha district who tested positive for the novel coronavirus yesterday and her direct contacts.

With the new cases, total confirmed COVID-19 patients in the island has risen to 4,459. Some 201 individuals are currently under investigation in hospitals while 1,172 active cases.

Seven Sri Lankan patients who had arrived from abroad returned home upon recovery as at 6am today, bringing total recoveries in Sri Lanka to 3,266.

The number of patients reported from the Minuwangoda cluster increased to 1034, with 202 new patients been discovered in the last 24 hours.

NOCPOC reports said all the patients have recovered from the Kandakadu cluster and has been discharged from the centre.

By this morning, 42 returnees arrived in Colombo, all of whom flew in from Doha,Qatar NOCPOC said, adding that all returnees will be directed to military-run quarantine centres.

Some 164 people ended their quarantine at military-run centres yesterday, according to NOCPOC. A total of 49,577 people have completed quarantine so far.

Meanwhile, the number of people in quarantine in 80 centres run by the armed forces is 8,029.

A total of 308,989 PCR tests have been conducted in the island so far with 1280 tests carried out yesterday.

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Sri Lanka as at October 07 records 13 COVID-19 related deaths.

Officials said the Covid Prevention Task Force is currently investigating three-clusters of possible COVID- 19 patients related to the discovery of the patient in Divulapitiya and as of now 1034 cases have been discovered so far in these clusters.

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 are under police curfew.

Officials said the count of the COVID-19 patients in this cluster are likely to go up further.

Medical personnel have conducted 2000 plus of PCR tests in the Minuwangoda brandix plant and other related places.

Releasing a statement, Army Commander Shavendra Silva, Any employees from the Minuwangoda Brandix  apparel factorythat have not yet contacted any relevant authorities to immediately contact Covid Operation Centre using the 011 3456548 telephone number.

As some of the Brandix staff had gone home on holidays during the long weekend cases have been detected in a number of cities and towns across the country.

In other related developments, a member of the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) janitorial staff also tested positive for the virus earlier today. A BIA official told EconomyNext that all staff will under go PCR testing today.

Army chief and head of the pandemic task force Lt Gen Shavendra Silva told reporters yesterday that the BIA staffer had visited a Brandix hostel in Minuwangoda, where apparel workers who are now undergoing treatment for the virus had been staying. The Colombo Golf Club, too, temporarily closed down its operations today following the daughter of a gardener testing positive for COVID-19.

NOCPOC said the authorities are also tracing any other contacts of employees from Man Power company that is said to be working in Brandix apparel plant in the free trade zone.

Meanwhile, a 64-year old woman from Yakkala died around ten minutes after she was admitted to the Galkanda Quarantine Centre with COVID-like symptoms, NOCPOC said in a statement.

“Doctors suspect that she died due to COVID-19 as her daughter is COVID-19 positive,” NOCPOC spokesman Col Vijitha Hettiarachchi said.

However, early reports said she died due to a heart failure.

Chief Epidemiologist Doctor Sudath Samaraweera told reporters after the postmortem, the body will be disposed of under the World Health Organization guidelines. (Colombo/Oct08/2020)

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