368 new COVID-19 patients in Sri Lanka; total cases rise to 7,521

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan health officials identified 368 new COVID-19 patients over a 24-hour period that ended at 6am today (25), the National Operations Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 (NOCPOC) said.

The breakdown of the remaining 368 are as follows: 232 from the Peliyagoda fish market, 37 from quarantine centres, 29 from Colombo, 28 from Gampaha, 24 from fishing harbours, eight each from Kalutara and Kurunegala, and two from Matara.

With the new cases, total confirmed COVID-19 patients in the island has risen to 7,521. Some 481 individuals are currently under investigation in hospitals, with 3,792 active cases.

Seventy Sri Lankan patients returned home upon recovery as at 6am today bringing total recoveries in Sri Lanka to 3,644. Of these, five are returnees from abroad and 65 are patients from the Minuwangoda cluster.

The number of patients reported from the Minuwangoda cluster has increased to 4,052 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 third week to 4,052, with 1,041 employees and 3,011 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, officails said.

Meanwhile, the number of people in quarantine in 74 centres run by the armed forces is 8,158.

A total of 432,801 PCR tests have been conducted in the island so far, with 8,066 tests carried out yesterday. NOCPOC reports said, adding that the results of some PCR tests are still pending.

By this morning, 26 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.

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Sri Lanka as at October 25 records 15 COVID-19 related deaths.

Sri Lanka police have imposed quarantine curfew in 48 Police areas in five districts.

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.

Curfew has been imposed in several areas since the discovery of a sub cluster of infected persons around a fish-market in Peliyagoda where officials had suspected cross-infections.

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

Sri Lanka’s army chief Lt Gen Shavendra Silva 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 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 25/2020)

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