356 new COVID-19 patients in Sri Lanka; total cases rise to 14,285
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan health officials identified 356 new COVID-19 patients over a 24-hour period that ended at 6am today (10), the National Operations Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 (NOCPOC) said.
All new patients belong to the Minuwangoda and Peliyagoda clusters.
The new cases break down as follows: 193 from Colombo, 99 from Gampaha, 28 from Kalutara, eight from Rathnapura, seven from Kandy, six from Batticaloa, four from Kurunegala, three from Matara, two each from Galle and Bogambara prison, one each from Anuradhapura, Puttalam and Trincomalee and one police officer.
With the new cases, Sri Lanka’s total patient count has increased to 14,285, with 5,369 active cases and 419 under investigation in hospitals.
NOCPOC issuing a statement said 145 Special Task Force (STF) officers, 279 police officers and 107 inmates from Welisara and Bogambara prisons have also tested positive for the virus.
As at 6am today, 595 Sri Lankan patients returned home upon recovery, bringing total recoveries in Sri Lanka to 8,880. All 562 are recoveries from the Minuwangoda cluster. A total of 5,458 patients from the Minuwangoda cluster have recovered by November 10, NOCPOC said.
The number of patients reported from the cluster has increased to 10,807, 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 10 to 10,807, with 1,041 employees of the apparel factory 1,007 from Peliyagoda fish market and 8,759 close contacts being identified as positive cases.
Meanwhile, the number of people in quarantine in 27 centres run by the armed forces is 2,362.
As at 6am today, 38 people ended their quarantine at military-run centres yesterday, according to NOCPOC. A total of 64,075 people have completed quarantine so far.
By this morning, 34 returnees arrived in Colombo, 16 from Dubai, 18 from Doha, Qatar NOCPOC said, adding that all returnees will be directed to military-run quarantine centres.
A total of 610,836 PCR tests have been conducted in the island so far, with 7,984 tests carried out yesterday. NOCPOC reports said, adding that the results of some PCR tests are still pending.
NOCPOC reports showed treatment centres administrated by the military have increased to 16 covering seven provinces in the country. The total capacity of these centres is 7,466. A total of 4,869 patients are receiving treatment in these facilities. Of these patients, 32 are returnees while 4,837 are close contacts of the Minuwangoda cluster.
Meanwhile the total COVID-19 deaths in the country increased to 36 yesterday when an 84-year-old female resident of Kandana died at the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Colombo after being transferred from a private hospital.
Sri Lanka has placed Kandana, Mahabage police areas in Gampaha district under coronavirus isolation.
NOCPOC said Angulana South and the Angulana North Grama Niladhari divisions in the Angulana police areas have also been isolated. The Kurunegala Municipal area was released from isolation except for the Ilippugedara and Kadveediya Grama Niladari Divisions.
The Kuliyapitiya police area was also released from isolation except for Galagedera, Hammalawa and Ihala Kalugamuwa Grama Niladhari Divisions.
Meanwhile a blog post by Executive Director and fellow of the institute for Health Policy (IHP) Dr Ravindra Rannan-Eliya said Sri Lanka’s daily PCR test amount should be 40,000- 50,000 despite the current amount of <12,000 PCR tests, with the new positive cases rising up to around 500 per day.
During the past six months, the WHO has suggested various testing levels as being adequate, ranging from 1 test per 1,000 people each week to 30 tests for every positive case detection. These translate into rates of 3–15,000 tests/day in Sri Lanka currently.
“Our assessment is that these guidelines do not have a strong evidence base, and that these levels of testing are too low to achieve and maintain elimination, which needs to be our goal if we are to avoid lockdowns as desired by our President,” Rannan-Eliya wrote.
Read our interview with Dr Rannan-Eliya here. (Colombo/Nov10/2020)