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704 new COVID-19 patients in Sri Lanka; total cases rise to 17,287

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan health officials identified 704 new COVID-19 patients over a 24-hour period that ended at 6am today (16), the National Operations Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 (NOCPOC) said.

Of the new patients, three are returnees from abroad while 464 belong to the local clusters.

The 464 cases break down as follows: 541 from Colombo, 39 from Gampaha, eight from Galle, seven from Batticaloa, five from Kurunegala, four from Rathnapura, three each from Kalutara, Kegalle, Kandy, Badulla, two from Puttalam and one each from Polonnaruwa and Matale. Other cases reported were 12 inmates at the Bogambara prison, one from Kuruwita prison, 14 from quarantine centres and 54 police officers who also tested positive for the virus.

The new police cases bring the count of total COVID-19 positive police officers to 781. Total infected prison inmates are 354.

With the new cases, Sri Lanka’s total patient count has increased to 17,287, with 5,734 active cases and 562 under investigation in hospitals.

As at 6am today, 171 Sri Lankan patients returned home upon recovery, bringing total recoveries in Sri Lanka to 11,495.

The number of patients reported from the Minuwangoda and Peliyagoda clusters has increased to 13,780, with the new positive cases identified. (Peliyagoda cluster is now at a total of 10,674)

A total of 8,070 patients from the two clusters have recovered by November 16, NOCPOC said.

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

The number of people in quarantine in 33 centres run by the armed forces is 3,168.

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By this morning, 91 returnees arrived in Colombo: 78 from Ethiopia, 12 from Doha, Qatar, and one from Japan. Twenty-seven people from India are to return to Colombo today, NOCPOC said, adding that all returnees will be directed to military-run quarantine centres.

A total of 672,100 PCR tests have been conducted in the island so far, with 11,130 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 58 yesterdays with five deaths reported from Colombo13, Colombo 15, Colombo 12and Colombo 08.

A 54-year-old male from Jinthupitiya, Colombo 13 who died at the National Hospital, Colombo. He was a long time cancer sufferer whose condition had worsened due to COVID-19. A 39-year-old male from Colombo 15 who had been admitted to Homagama hospital. He, too, was a cancer patient and had contracted pneumonia from COVID-19. An 88-year-old male from Colombo 12 who had been admitted  with complaints of chest pains was found to be dead on admission. He had died of heart disease due to COVID-19. A 79-year-old male from Borella, Colombo 08, died at home. In his case, COVID-19 had worsened a lung condition. An 88-year old-male from Colombo 13 had died on admission to National Hospital. According to NOPOC, he died of a COVID-19 linked heart condition.

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

Sri Lanka lifted off isolation in the Western Province from November 15 midnight. However, 25 police areas in Colombo and Gampaha districts are still 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.

However, NOCPOC said companies operating under the Board of Investment and Export Development Board along with essential government services in lockdown areas in the Colombo district will be permitted under strict supervision of health officers in the area. (Colombo/Nov16/2020)

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