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457 new COVID-19 patients in Sri Lanka; total cases rise to 8,870

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan health officials identified 457 new COVID-19 patients over a 24-hour period that ended at 6am today (28), the National Operations Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 (NOCPOC) said.

All patients are from the Peliyagoda and Minuwangoda clusters.

With the new cases, total confirmed COVID-19 patients in the island has risen to 8,870. Some 445 individuals are currently under investigation in hospitals, with 4,808 active cases.

Hundred and ten Sri Lankan patients returned home upon recovery as at 6am today bringing total recoveries in Sri Lanka to 4,043. All recovered patients are from the Minuwangoda cluster.

The number of patients reported from the Minuwangoda cluster has increased to 5,398 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 October 28 to 5,398, with 1,041 employees and 4,357 close contacts being identified as positive cases.

Meanwhile, the number of people in quarantine in 75 centres run by the armed forces is 7.530.

According to NOCPOC, 73 people ended their quarantine at military-run centres yesterday. A total of 58,396 people have completed quarantine so far.

A total of 469,258 PCR tests have been conducted in the island so far, with 10,740 tests carried out yesterday. NOCPOC reports said, adding that the results of some PCR tests are still pending.

By this morning, 14 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’s coronavirus related deaths rose to 19 with three patients in intensive care passing away yesterday: a 41-year-old, a 19-year-old and an 87-year-old, the state information office quoted the island’s health chief as saying.

Sri Lanka police have imposed quarantine curfew in 58 police areas and 36 divisional secretary areas in seven 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.

Sri Lanka’s army chief Lt Gen Shavendra Silva said first contacts of confirmed patients would no longer be quarantined in military-run centres.

“In the future, the first contacts will be home quarantined. When home quarantining we hope that they will stay at home and engage in quarantine. We expect they will not go out, and be a threat to their neigbhours or society.”

Members of the public should avoid crossing Sri Lanka’s district borders and residents in Colombo in particular should travel unless it is ‘very essential’, General Silva, who also heads the island’s anti-coronavirus task force, said.

“We are asking the people to avoid travelling, especially at the border,” Silva told Sri Lanka’s Derana Television.

“Especially in the Colombo District, except for very essential needs, do not cross the district border. Otherwise we will have to put restrictions on the border,” he said. (Colombo/Oct 28/2020)

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