502 new COVID-19 patients in Sri Lanka; total cases rise to 21,469

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan health officials identified 502 new COVID-19 patients over a 24-hour period that ended at 6am today (26), 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 local cases break down as follows: 262 from Colombo, 90 from Gampaha, 46 from Kalutara, 15 from Puttalam, eight from Nuwara Eliya, seven from Kagalle, six from Badulla, five from Kilinochchi, three from Ratnapura and one each from Galle, Matara and Kurunegala. A further 55 cases were from the community whose origin could not be confirmed.

NOCPOC reports show the majority of cases identified during the past 24 hours from the Colombo district are from Colombo Municipal Council area.

With the new cases, Sri Lanka’s total patient count has increased to 21,469, with 5,926 active cases and 577 under investigation in hospitals.

NOCPOC said  health authorities have started rapid antigen tests in Atalugama, Banadaragama.

Minister of Health Pavithra Wanniarachchi told parliament yesterday that over 4,000 rapid antigen tests have been carried out island wide over the past few days to identify new COVID-19 patients in all districts.

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.

Meanwhile, the Cinnamon Life construction project by John Keells Holdings in Colombo 02 was locked down  yesterday with 47 positive cases being found at the construction site. Officials said of the 47 patients 41 are Indian nationals.

The new police cases bring the count of total COVID-19 positive police officers to 1,500 including 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.

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Police said the Police Field Force headquarters will be isolated for the next 14 days with immediate effect after identifying COVID-19 positive officers from the premises.

The district-level breakdown of total cases from the new clusters are as follows: Colombo: 7,729, Gampaha: 6,155, Kalutara:794, Kurunegala:281, Kandy: 346, Galle: 203, Kegalle:141, Ratnapura:145, Puttalam:94, Batticoloa:72, NuwaraEliya:96, Badulla:48, Anuradhapura:57, Matale:32, Jaffna:19, Matara:32, Ampara:21, Hambanthota 21, Polonnaruwa 06, Moneragala: nine, Vavunia:14, Trincomalee:13, Mannar:10, Kilinochchi:nine and Mullaitivi:one.

Currently 2,467 patients are undergoing treatment at 38 government hospitals and 3,250 patients in 19 intermediate COVID-19 centres administered by the tri-forces.

As at 6am today, 485 Sri Lankan patients returned home upon recovery, bringing total recoveries in Sri Lanka to 15,447.

The number of patients reported from the Minuwangoda and Peliyagoda clusters has increased to 17,934, with the new positive cases identified. (Minuwangoda cluster is at a total of 3,059, with 1,041 employees of the apparel factory and 2,018 close contacts)

A total of 12,014 patients from the two clusters have recovered by November 25, NOCPOC said.

NOCPOC 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, and by November 25 it has increased to 14,875.

Total COVID-19 patients found among returnees to the country are 1,569.

The number of people in quarantine in 47 centres run by the armed forces is 4,894.

By this morning, 85 returnees arrived in Colombo: 50 from Doha, Qatar and 35 from Oman, NOCPOC said, adding that all returnees will be directed to military-run quarantine centres.

A total of 777,610 PCR tests have been conducted in the island so far, with 10,400 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 96 yesterdays with two new deaths reported yesterday. Sri Lanka recorded 83 deaths in October and November after the new cluster from Minuwangoda was identified on October 04.

Among the deceased is a 45-year-old female from Colombo 12 who died on November 23 at the General Hospital Colombo. The cause of death was cited as high blood pressure associated with COVID-19. The second deceased yesterday was an 80-year-old male from Pannipitiya who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 and transferred to Pimbura Base Hospital from Jayawardenapura Hospital and died yesterday. Officials said the cause of death was a liver disease exacerbated due to COVID-19.

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 Seveka Areas – Wanathamulla, Wekanda

Kalutara district
Grama Sevaka Areas – Atalugama East, Atalugama West, Korawala, Galagahamandiya, Bogahawatta, Bamunumulla (Muslim Division), Kirimanthudawa, Bamunumulla,Atalugama East, Epitamulla, Kola Mediriya

Kandy Districts
Grama Sevaka Areas – Bulugahathenna, Thelambugahawatta (Colombo/Nov 26/2020)

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