458 new COVID-19 patients in Sri Lanka; total cases rise to 20,967

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan health officials identified 458 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.

All newly identified patients belong to the local clusters.

According to NOCPOC, the cases break down as follows: 259 from Colombo, 78 from Kalutara, 23 from Gampaha, 16 from Kandy, four each from Nuwara Eliya and Galle, one each from Jaffna, Matara, Ratnapura and Anuradhapura. Other cases reported were 19 from Sri Lanka Police, 17 from the Special Task Force (STF) and 24 from the prisons. A further 10 cases were from the community whose origin could not be confirmed.

NOCPOC reports show that the majority of the cases identified within the past 24 hours from the Colombo districts are from the Colombo Municipal Council area.

With the new cases, Sri Lanka’s total patient count has increased to 20,967, with 5,911 active cases and 601 under investigation in hospitals.

The task force said health authorities are conducting tests in Atalugama and Bandaragama areas using the rapid antigen test kits. Authorities are targeting 500 tests in Atalugama, officials said.

Rapid antigen test kits being used to identify COVID-19 patients. Image courtesy: NOCPOC

Sri Lanka health authorities imported 200,000 rapid antigen kits in early November. Officials said the kits will be used to identify patients in Board of Investment (BOI) companies in the Katunayake export processing zone.

However, due to the rapid increase in the number of patients, NOCPOC some of the kits will be used to identify patients in Atalugama as well, an area that has been identified as a mini cluster.

NOCPCOC further reported that within the last 24 hours health officials had identified 10 positive cases from Demal Waththa and Grandpass areas in Colombo district using the rapid antigen test.

Meanwhile, the Cinnamon Life construction project by John Keells Holdings in Colombo 02 has been locked down with 43 positive cases being found at the construction site.

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Rapid antigen test kits. Image courtesy: NOCPOC

In another development, officials at the Welikada prison issuing a statement said the former Director of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Shani Abeysekara has also tested positive for the virus and has been directed to treatment.

The new police cases bring the count of total COVID-19 positive police officers to 1,059. This includes 256 STF officers, 64 Crime Branch officers, 90 officers from Borella station, 24 from Grand pass station, 122 from Fort station and 10 from Dam Street station. Total COVID-19 positive prisoners increased to 708.

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

Colombo: 7,467, Gampaha: 6,065, Kalutara: 748, Kurunegala: 280, Kandy: 346, Galle: 202, Kegalle: 141, Ratnapura: 142, Puttalam: 79, Batticaloa: 72, Nuwara Eliya: 88, Badulla: 42, Anuradhapura: 57, Matale: 32, Jaffna: 19, Matara: 31, Ampara: 21, Hambantota: 21, Polonnaruwa: six, Monaragala: nine, Vavuniya: 14, Trincomalee: 13, Mannar: 10, Kilinochchi: four and Mullaitivi: one.

Currently patients are undergoing treatment at 37 government hospitals and 18 intermediate hospitals administered by Sri Lanka’s military.

As at 6am today, 465 patients returned home upon recovery, bringing total recoveries in Sri Lanka to 14,962.

The number of patients reported from the Minuwangoda and Peliyagoda clusters has increased to 17,432, with the new positive cases identified. (Minuwangoda cluster is now at a total of 3,059, with 1,041 employees of the apparel factory and 2,018 close contacts)

A total of 11,156 patients from the two clusters have recovered by November 25, NOCPOC said.

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

NOCPOC reports showed that after the first positive case of the Peliyagoda cluster was discovered by health authorities on October 21, it increased to 14,373 as of today.

The total Covid 19 positive patients found from returnees to the country is 1,569.

The number of people in quarantine in 45 centres run by the armed forces is 4,797.

By this morning, 197 returnees arrived in Colombo: 92 from India, 53 from the Maldives, 50 from Dubai and two from Doha, Qatar, NOCPOC said, adding that all returnees will be directed to military-run quarantine centres.

A total of 765,505 PCR tests have been conducted in the island so far, with 7,467 tests carried out yesterday, NOCPOC reports said, adding that the results of some PCR tests are still pending.

Total COVID-19 deaths in the country increased to 94 with four new deaths reported yesterday. Sri Lanka recorded 81 deaths in October and November after the new cluster from Minuwangoda was identified on October 04.

A 74-year-old male from Ginigathhena died while undergoing treatment at the ICU at the Ragama hospital on November 22. The patient was transferred from the prison hospital and officials said dysentery due to COVID-19 and organ failure was the cause of death. A 54-year-old male from Siyambalape South died while undergoing treatment at the Colombo General Hospital. The death occurred on November 22 and the cause of death was cited as kidney disease with COVID-19. A 73-year-old female from Colombo 15 died on November 24 while undergoing treatment at the Homagama hospital. The patient had been transferred from the Colombo General Hospital after testing positive for the virus. The cause of death was a stroke with pneumonia due to COVID-19. A 42-year-old male died while undergoing treatment at the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH). The patient had been transferred from the Panadura hospital and, according to officials, was suffering from a liver infection and his condition worsened due to COVID-19. Cerebral edema (brain swelling) was mentioned as the cause of death.

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

Meanwhile, Bamunuella, Bogahawatte, Kirimanthuduwa, Korawela, Atalugama-west, Galgahamandiya Grama Sevaka divisions in the Bandaragama police area in the Kalutara district, the Arachchikade police station in Chilaw, Abulugothanna and Talabugahawathta in Akurana have been isolated until further notice. A labour housing scheme on Wattala Church Road has also been isolated due to 35 positive cases being found there.

Eighteen police areas in Colombo and Gampaha districts remain under lockdown until further notice.

Gampaha district
Peliyagaoda, Wattala, Ragama, Negombo, Kelaniya.

Colombo district
Woulfendal, Keselwatte, Maligawatte, Fore Shore, Mutwal, Kotahena, Mattakkuliya, Bluemandal, Grandpass, Dematagoda, Maradana, Pettah and Dam street.

Grama Seveak Areas – Wanathamulla, Wekanda

Kalutara district
Grama Sevaka Areas – Atalugama East, Atalugama West, Korawala, Epitamulla, Galgemandiya, Bogahawatta, Bamunumulla Muslim Division, Bamunumulla, Kirimanthuduwa (Colombo/Nov 25/2020)

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