275 new COVID-19 patients in Sri Lanka; total cases rise to 11,335

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan health officials identified 275 new COVID-19 patients over a 24-hour period that ended at 6am today (03), the National Operations Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 (NOCPOC) said.

All patients belong to the Minuwangoda and Peliyagoda clusters.

The new cases break down as follows: 90 from Gampaha, 61 from Colombo, 22 from Kegalle, 10 from Galle, four each from Kurunegala and Ratnapura, one each from Kalutara and Trincomalee and 43 from quarantine centres as well as 39 police officers.

With the new cases, Sri Lanka’s total patient count has increased to 11,335 with 6,065 active cases and 389 under investigation in hospitals.

As at 6am today, 344 Sri Lankan patients returned home upon recovery, today bringing total recoveries in Sri Lanka to 5,249. Of these, two are returnees from abroad while 342 are from the Minuwangoda cluster.

NOCPOC said 1,828 patients have recovered from the Minuwangoda cluster by November 03.

The number of patients reported from the Minuwangoda cluster has increased to 7,857 with the new positive cases identified.

NOCPOC reports showed that after the first positive case of the Minuwangoda cluster was discovered by health authorities on October 03, within the first week the cluster increased to 1,186 and by November 03 to 7,857, with 1,041 employees and 6,816 close contacts being identified as positive cases.
Meanwhile, the number of people in quarantine in 35 centres run by the armed forces is 1,082.

Fifteen people ended their quarantine at military-run centres yesterday, according to NOCPOC. A total of 62,917 people have completed quarantine so far.

A total of 536,337 PCR tests have been conducted in the island so far, with 11,889 tests carried out yesterday. NOCPOC reports said, adding that the results of some PCR tests are still pending.

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By this morning, 29 returnees arrived in Colombo, 18 of whom flew in from Doha, Qatar and 11 from Abu Dhabi NOCPOC said, adding that all returnees will be directed to military-run quarantine centres.

Sri Lanka’s novel coronavirus related deaths rose to 22 today, with the passing of a 70-year-old patient.

COVID-19 curfew has been extended in the Western Province and key areas to contain the spread of the virus after the disease spread country-wide and large numbers of infected people turned up in the capital Colombo and some key towns in random tests.

Only those involved in essential services will be allowed to travel during the curfew and essential goods will be home delivered from Monday using the same process employed in the first half of 2020, Army Commander Shavendra Silva said.

Sri Lanka’s current outbreak is caused by a strain of SARS-CoV-2 found in Denmark and Sweden, researchers who have sequenced its gene have found.

Sri Lanka’s current outbreak is caused by a strain of SARS-CoV-2 found in Denmark and Sweden, researchers who have sequenced its gene have found.

A team from Sri Lanka’s Sri Jayewardenepura University that also examined viruses from earlier clusters collaborating with their counterparts in the U, have said the current strain is a one that has not been previously found in Sri Lanka, after sequencing 16 samples.

“This virus belongs to the B.1.42 lineage which is found in countries like Denmark and Sweden,” Chandima Jeewandara, a senior lecturer at Sri Lanka’s Sri Jayewardenepura University who is a member of research team told Sri Lanka’s Swarnavahini Television.

“It also has a mutation called D614G, which makes it highly transmissible.”

Sri Lanka completed 12,000 coronavirus tests, the highest daily tests so far, as an expert from China was fixing another machine which will boost output further.

Sri Lanka is building more treatment centres using former quarantine facilities run by the military.

Meanwhile, authorities have requested citizens to minimise travel and gathering to contain the spread.

Sri Lanka has speeded up discharge from hospital by relaxing previous protocol.

Ananda Wijewickreme from the National Institute of Infectious Diseases said under the new protocol Sri Lanka would no longer wait for two PCR tests to be negative before discharging since new discoveries have proved the virus will not be transmitted to another person after the first 10 days of infection. (Colombo/Nov 03/2020)

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