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

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan health officials identified 409 new COVID-19 patients over a 24-hour period that ended at 6am today (04), the National Operations Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 (NOCPOC) said.

All cases belonged to the Minuwangoda and Peliyagoda clusters.

The new cases break down as follows: 146 from Gampaha, 122 from Colombo, 47 from Kalutara, 19 from Galle, seven from Kurunegala, six from Badulla, five each from Hambanthota and Kandy, three from Puttalam, two each from Nuwara Eliya and Matale, one each from Monaragala, Ampara, Batticalao,, eight from quarantine centres and ten 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, 322 Sri Lankan patients returned home upon recovery, bringing total recoveries in Sri Lanka to 5,581. All 322 recoveries reported are from the Minuwangoda cluster.

NOCPOC said 2,160 patients have recovered from the Minuwangoda cluster by November 04.

The number of patients reported from the Minuwangoda cluster has increased to 8,266 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 04 to 8,266, with 1,041 employees and 7,225 close contacts being identified as positive cases.
Meanwhile, the number of people in quarantine in 34 centres run by the armed forces is 2,776.

Thirty-four people ended their quarantine at military-run centres yesterday, according to NOCPOC. A total of 63,223 people have completed quarantine so far.

A total of 546,803 PCR tests have been conducted in the island so far, with 10,466 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 novel coronavirus related deaths rose to 23 with two deaths reported yesterday.

The government extended its COVID-19 curfews 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 COVID-19 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 UK have said the current strain is a one that has not been previously found in Sri Lanka, after sequencing 16 samples.

The research team said the virus belongs to the B.1.42 lineage which is found in countries like Denmark and Sweden.

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

Meanwhile authorities have requested citizens to minimize travel and gathering to minimize the spreading of the virus.

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

A total of 183 police officers have tested positive for the virus so far, and Special Task Force (STF) camps in Kalubowila, Kalaniya and Rajagiriya have been isolated untill further notice.

NOCPOC said under a new government decision, close contacts of 63,663 houses are under self quarantine. (Colombo/Nov 04/2020)

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