439 new COVID-19 patients in Sri Lanka; total cases rise to 18,839

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan health officials identified 439 new COVID-19 patients over a 24-hour period that ended at 6am today (20), the National Operations Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 (NOCPOC) said.

Of the new patients, two are foreign seafarers, one is a returnee from India and the other 437 belong to the local clusters.

According to NOCPOC, the local cases break down as follows: 305 from Colombo and 58 from Gampaha. Other cases reported were one inmate from Welikada prison, one inmate from Bogambara Prison, five police officers, one Special Task Force (STF) officer and 64 from quarantine centres.

The new police cases bring the count of total COVID-19 positive police officers to 848 including 204 STF officers, 69 Crime Branch officers, 98 officers from the Borella station, 24 from the Grandpass station, 139 from the Fort station and 10 from the Dam Street station. Total COVID-19 positive prison inmates are at 534.

The district-level breakdown of total cases from the new clusters are as follows:

Colombo: 6,446 patients, Gampaha: 5,725, Kalutara: 610, Ratnapura: 133, Galle: 183, Kegalle: 139, Kurunegala: 245, Nuwara Eliya: 50, Jaffna: 18, Anuradhapura: 52, Kilinochchi: three, Matale: 30, Mannar: 10, Vavuniya: 14, Ampara: 21, Matara: 28, Trincomalee: 12, Batticaloa: 71, Polonnaruwa: four, Monaragala: eight, Badulla: 36, Hambantota: 20, and Mullativu one.

Meanwhile, NOCPOC said a COVID-19 -affected mother and son ran away from the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) where they were undergoing treatment. They were residents of Eheliyagoda and the Police are conducting further investigations.

With the new cases, Sri Lanka’s total patient count has increased to 18,839, with 5,867 active cases and 580 under investigation in hospitals.

Currently patients are undergoing treatment at 37 government hospitals and 18 intermediate hospitals administered by the tri-forces.

As at 6am today, 316 patients returned home upon recovery, bringing total recoveries in Sri Lanka to 12,903.

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The number of patients reported from the Minuwangoda and Peliyagoda clusters has increased to 15,324 with the new positive cases identified. (Peliyagoda cluster is now at a total of 12,305).

A total of 9,478 patients from the two clusters have recovered by November 19, NOCPOC said.

The task force said four of the COVID-19 related deaths are contacts of the Minuwangoda cluster while 49 deaths are contacts of the Peliyagoda fish market cluster.

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 19 to 3,106, with 1,041 employees of the apparel factory and 2,065 close contacts being identified.

Total COVID-19 positive patients found among returnees to the country is 1,552.

The number of people in quarantine in 36 centres run by the armed forces is 3,812.

By this morning, 66 returnees arrived in Colombo: two from Doha, Qatar, and 52 from Australia and 12 from Japan, NOCPOC said, adding that all returnees will be directed to military-run quarantine centres.

A total of 713,652 PCR tests have been conducted in the island so far, with 10,356 tests carried out yesterday, NOCPOC said, adding that the results of some 216 PCR tests are still pending.

Total COVID-19 deaths in the country increased to 73 with four new deaths reported yesterday.

A 70-year-old male from Colombo 10 died after being admitted to a private hospital. Health officials said pneumonia due to Covid 19 was the cause of his death. A 27-year-old female from Colombo 15 died while undergoing treatment at the Mulleriyawa hospital. The patient had been transferred from the Colombo National Hospital after testing positive for COVID-19. Health officials cited liver failure with COVID-19 as the cause of death. A 59 year-old female from Pokunuwita, Kalutara, died at home. The post mortem said high blood pressure and a chest infection due to COVID-19 was the cause of death. An 86-year-old male from Halthota, Kalutara, also died at home. NOCPOC said the post mortem revealed a chest infection due to COVID-19 as the cause of death.

The task force further said some 30,000 people who are close contacts of COVID-19 positive patients are in self-quarantine.

However, 25 police areas in Colombo and Gampaha districts remain under lockdown until further notice.

Gampaha district
Peliyagaoda, Wattala, Ja ela, Ragama, Kadawatha, Negombo, Kelaniya.

Colombo district
Woulfendal, Keselwatte, Maligawatte, Fore Shore, Mutwal, Kotahena, Mattakkuliya, Bluemandal, Grandpass, Dematagoda, Borella, Wellampitiya, Maradana, Colombo Fort, Pettah, Slaveisland, Angulana and Dam street.  (Colombo/Nov 20/2020)

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