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Friday August 19th, 2022

545 new COVID-19 patients in Sri Lanka; total cases rise to 24,532s

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan health officials identified 545 new COVID-19 patients over a 24-hour period that ended at 6am today (02), the National Operations Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 (NOCPOC) said.

Of the new patients, four are returnees from abroad while 541 are from local clusters.

According to NOCPOC, the local cases break down as follows: 294 from Colombo, 130 from Kalutara, 36 from Kandy, 22 from Gampaha, 16 from Ampara, 14 from Puttalam, eight from Nuwara Eliya, three each from Galle and Anuradhapura, two each from Kurunegala, Kagalle, Matale, Batticaloa and Monaragala, and one from Ratnapura. A further four cases were from the community whose origin could not be confirmed.

With the new cases, Sri Lanka’s total patient count has increased to 24,532, with 6,593 active cases and 620 under investigation in hospitals.

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

The task force said the number of patients in prisons have increased to 1,188 with 452 reported from the Welikada prison, 46 in Magazine prison, 157 in Colombo Remand Prison, 198 in Mahara, 32 in Kuruwita, and 199 from the Bogambara prison.

The district-level breakdown of total cases from the new clusters are as follows: Colombo: 9,738, Gampaha: 6,314, Kalutara:1,065, Kurunegala:348, Kandy:485, Galle: 258, Kegalle:244, Ratnapura:278, Puttalam:198, Batticoloa:79, NuwaraEliya:129, Badulla:48, Anuradhapura:122, Matale:50, Jaffna:20, Matara:34, Ampara:99, Hambanthota 25, Polonnaruwa 06, Moneragala: 16, Vavunia:14, Trincomalee:13, Mannar:10, Kilinochchi:nine and Mullaitivi:one.

Currently 2,401 patients are undergoing treatment at 38 government hospitals and 3,548 patients are being treated at 19 intermediate COVID-19 centres administered by the military.

As at 6am today, 257 Sri Lankan patients returned home upon recovery, bringing total recoveries in Sri Lanka to 17,815.

The number of patients reported from the Minuwangoda and Peliyagoda clusters has increased to 20,979, 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 14,409 patients from the two clusters have recovered as of today (2), 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 December 02 it has increased to 17,920.

Total COVID-19 positive patients among returnees to the country are 1,579.

The number of people in quarantine in 59 centres run by the armed forces is 6,461.

Sri Lanka COVID-19 related deaths increased to 122 with four new deaths reported yesterday. The country recorded 105 deaths in October and November after the new cluster from Minuwangoda was identified on October 04.

The deceased patients are from Rajagiriya, Colombo 12, Kolonnawa and Colombo 10.

By this morning, 117 returnees arrived in Colombo, 52 from Dubai, 44 from Mali, 21 from Qatar while another 70 people from India are expected to return today, NOCPOC said, adding that all returnees will be directed to military-run quarantine centres.

A total of 848,814 PCR tests have been conducted in the island so far, with7,463 tests carried out yesterday, NOCPOC reports said, adding that the results of some PCR tests are still pending.

Fourteen police areas and 17 Grama Sevaka areas in Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Kandy, Puttalam and Ampara districts remain under lockdown until further notice.

Gampaha district
Peliyagaoda, Wattala, Kelaniya.

Colombo district
Woulfendal, Keselwatte, Maligawatte, Mutwal, Kotahena, Bluemandal, Grandpass, Dematagoda, Maradana and Dam street.
Grama Seveka Areas – Wanathamulla, Wekanda, Salamul, Wijayapura, South of Ferguson Road
Flats – The Laksanda Sevana housing complex, Randiya Uyana Housing Complex

Kalutara district
Grama Sevaka Areas – Atalugama East, Epitamulla, Kola Mediriya

Kandy Districts
Grama Sevaka Areas – Bulugahathenna, Thelambugahawatta

Puttalam District
Grama Sevaka Areas – Weralabada, Weralabada south, Werelabada North, Egodawaththe, Kurusa Paduwa

Ampara District
Akkaraipattu (Colombo/Dec 01/2020)

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Sri Lanka schedules 3-hour power cuts for Aug 20, 21: regulator

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will impose power cuts of up to three hours on Saturday August 20 and Sunday August 21, Public Utilities Commission (PUCSL) Chairman Janaka Ratnayake said.

All areas (A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V and W) will have power cuts of 1 hours and 40 minutes between 10.30 am and 06.00 pm and 1 hour 20 minutes from 06.00pm to 10.00 pm.

Click here for a detailed schedule.

The state-run Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) said supply interruption time and restoration time will vary within 30 minutes as indicated above.

Sri Lanka’s daily scheduled power cuts that were reduced to one hour in July with power generation from hydro power plants contributing more than 50 percent to the main grid reducing thermal power plant use was extended to three hours last week due to a breakdown at the Norochcholai coal power plant.

According to officials, the breakdown happened in Unit 1 of Norochcholai which will take around two weeks to repair.

The Minister of Power & Energy said Unit 2 is undergoing scheduled maintenance work while Unit 3 will continue to operate. West Coast and other fuel power pPlants will be used to manage the supply, the ministry said. (Colombo/Aug02/2022)

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Sri Lanka guidance peg edges T-bond yield edge down

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka Central Bank’s guidance peg for interbank transactions edged down on Friday (19), while yields in Treasury bonds picked up slightly and in T-bill remain unquoted in dull trade, a day after the Central Bank announced the policy rates will remain stable, dealers said.

A bond maturing on 01. 06. 2025 closed at 27.95/28.05 percent on Friday, slightly up from 27.90/28.00 percent on Thursday.

No T-bills were quoted on Friday, dealers said.

Meanwhile Sri Lanka’s central bank announced a guidance peg for interbank transactions further weakened by three cents to 361.00 rupees against the US dollar on Friday from 360.97 rupees.

Data showed that commercial banks offered dollars for telegraphic transfers between 368.00 and 370.00 for small transactions.  (Colombo/ Aug 19/2022)

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Sri Lanka records 10 new COVID-19 deaths in 48 hours as case numbers rise

ECONOMYNEXT –  Sri Lanka recorded 10 COVID-19 deaths in the 48 hours from August 17 to 19 taking the country’s pandemic death toll to 16,640, health ministry data showed.

Sri Lanka is experiencing a slight increase in COVID-19 cases with the relaxation of public health restrictions relating to face masks and public gatherings.

Health authorities said the situation will be monitored constantly and have asked the general public to continue to follow basic hygiene measures in order to control the spread of the virus again in the community.

In August alone 2,924 new cases were recorded in Sri Lanka, with 84 deaths attributed to the disease.

So far in 2022, from January onward, health authorities have identified 81,157 patients to date.

Epidemiology unit data showed that 874 patients are currently receiving treatment, out of which 716 are receiving home based care.

The spread of the virus has increased with the use of public transport rising after an easing of a fuel crisis.

Sri Lanka is also facing difficulties in securing essential medicine supplies for the health sector due to a forex shortage.

Health officials said if the number of COVID-19 patients rise to a level the health sector cannot manage,  with the added issues of fuel and medical shortages, the health system might collapse.

“It is the responsibility of us all. There is no use trying to forcibly control people. We all have the responsibility to reduce or stop the spread of the virus before it gets out of control. We have been living with it for the past two years,” Deputy Director General of Health Services Dr Hemantha Herath said. (Colombo/Aug19/2022)

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