351 new COVID-19 patients in Sri Lanka; total cases rise to 7,872

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan health officials identified 351 new COVID-19 patients over a 24-hour period that ended at 6am today (26), the National Operations Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 (NOCPOC) said.

Of the 351 patients, three are returnees from abroad –  two coastguards from the Philippines and one foreigner from Qatar. Thirty-six patients are from quarantine centres, NOCPOC said.

The breakdown of the remaining 312, all of whom are traced to the Peliyagoda fish market cluster, are as follows: Colombo (outside the municipality areas) – 159, Mattakkuliya – 32, Modara – 3, Borella – 7, Grandpass – 2, Kirulapone – 3, Dompe – 4, Mahara – 55, Wattala – 17, Minuwangoda – 5, Biyagama – 1, Seeduwa – 3, Aththanagalla – 6, Ja Ela – 7, Narahenpita – 2, Wellawaththa – 1, Dematagoda – 1, Neluwa – 1, Gampaha – 3.

With the new cases, total confirmed COVID-19 patients in the island has risen to 7,872. Some 537 individuals are currently under investigation in hospitals, with 4,053 active cases.

Eighty-nine Sri Lankan patients returned home upon recovery as at 6am today bringing total recoveries in Sri Lanka to 3,803. Of these, one is a returnee from abroad and the remaining 88 are from the Minuwangoda cluster.

The number of patients reported from the Minuwangoda cluster has increased to 4,400 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 October 26 to 4,400, with 1,041 employees and 3,359 close contacts being identified as positive cases.

NOCPOC said 16 students facing the Advanced Level examination have also tested positive for the virus. They will continue their exams at the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) in Angoda, officials said.

Meanwhile, the number of people in quarantine in 73 centres run by the armed forces is 9,189.

A total of 450,836 PCR tests have been conducted in the island so far, with 9,189 tests carried out yesterday. NOCPOC reports said, adding that the results of some PCR tests are still pending.

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Sri Lanka’s coronavirus related deaths rose to 16 yesterday, with a 70-year-old patient in intensive care passing away, the state information office quoted the island’s health chief as saying.

The patient was admitted to the National Hospital on October 23 with a blood infection and passed away in the early hours yesterday.

“The person had died due to this condition,” the statement said.

People with diabetes, kidney or heart conditions are at increased risk from COVID-19.

Sri Lanka police have imposed quarantine curfew in 48 police areas in five districts with the curfew in Aluthgama, Beruwala and Payagala police areas still ongoing.

Army Commander Lt Gen Shavendra Silva issuing a statement said that, with the evening results yesterday, it was decided not to lift the curfew from any police areas.

Hospitals in Minuwangoda, Welikanda, Iranawila, Rambukkana, Kamburugamuwa, Kattankudi, Hambanthota, Theldeniya, Mulleriyawa, as well as the IDH 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.

Sri Lanka’s anti-coronavirus task force has been analysing data from the fish-market, where officials had said cross-infections may have taken place with the main cluster in Minuwangoda.

The army chief asked persons who have visited the Peliyagoda fish market in recent days to be watchful and contact the nearest public health officer.

Sri Lanka’s Colombo Hilton and Shangri – La have said a staff member each had been confirmed with Coronavirus and protective measures are being taken.

Sri Lanka’s Colombo Hilton and Shangri-la hotels have said a staff member of each hotel has tested positive for the virus and protective measures are being taken.

Colombo Hilton said one staff member was admitted to hospital after having possible symptoms. Rooms and public areas are being sanitised.

Shangri-la said they noticed on October 23 that a staff member had tested positive.

The infected staff members did not directly deal with guests and their contacts are being traced, the two hotels said. (Colombo/Oct 26/2020)

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