397 new COVID-19 patients in Sri Lanka; total cases rise to 11,060

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan health officials identified 397 new COVID-19 patients over a 24-hour period that ended at 6am today (02), the National Operations Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 (NOCPOC) said.

All cases belong to the Minuwangoda and Peliyagoda clusters.

The geographical breakdown of the new patient count is as follows: 179 from Gampaha, 93 from Colombo, 33 from Kalutara, 19 from Kegalle, 11 from Kurunegala, five from Kandy, five from Batticalao, two each from Puttalam and Galle, and one each from Hambanthota, Trincomalee, Matara, Rathnapura, Polonnaruwa, Mannar and Anuradgapura, and a further 41 from quarantine centres.

With the new cases, the total of the new wave has risen to 7,389 cases while Sri Lanka’s total patient count has increased to 11,060, with 6,134 active cases and 405 under investigation in hospitals.

NOCPOC said 34 employees of the Bodyline apparel factory in Horana and 18 positive cases from Mawanella, Kegalle, as well as 125 police officers are also included in the new patients.

As at 6am today, 506 Sri Lankan patients returned home upon recovery as at 6am today bringing total recoveries in Sri Lanka to 4,905. All recovered patients are from the Minuwangoda cluster.

NOCPOC said 1,486 patients have recovered from the Minuwangoda cluster by November 02.

The number of patients reported from the cluster has increased to 7,582 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 02 to 7,582, with 1,041 employees and 6,541 close contacts being identified as positive cases.
Meanwhile, the number of people in quarantine in 45 centres run by the armed forces is 4,039.

Up to 228 people ended their quarantine at military-run centres yesterday, according to NOCPOC. A total of 61,995 people have completed quarantine so far.

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A total of 523,822 PCR tests have been conducted in the island so far, with 11,087 tests carried out yesterday. NOCPOC reports said, adding that the results of some PCR tests are still pending.

By this morning, three 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.

Sri Lanka recorded its 21st COVID-19 death yesterday, a 40-year-old male that was undergoing treatment at the National Hospital for Respiratory Diseases, Welisara.

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 02/2020)

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