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COVID19 update: Akurana people return from quarantine, two new hotspots in Colombo

A Sri Lankan police Special Task Force personnel wearing a facemask stands guard at a checkpoint during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Colombo on April 7, 2020.

ECONOMYNEXT – All 144 people who were placed in quarantine from the town of Akurana in the Kandy district have returned home and none of them have tested positive for COVID 19, local health officials said.

However, the normally busy town remains under lockdown although the rest of the Kandy district has had the curfew lifted.

Akurana was declared a no-go area by the Medical Officer of Health on April 5 after seven people in the area tested positive for COVID 19.

Five of them were close relatives of a local man who had returned recently from India.

The other two were returnees from Indonesia and were not exhibiting any symptoms of the disease at the time they were tested, these officials said.

Their close relatives, however, were negative.

In the Colombo area two more hotspots emerged yesterday.

They are Boralesgamuwa and Piliyandala.

The woman patient from Boralesgamuwa had been treated at a private hospital before she was tested and all the medical staff that treated her have now been quarantined and the hospital shut down temporarily, Army Commander Lt. General Shavendra Silva said yesterday April 21.

He said all close associates and her family members are to be quarantined.

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The patient from Piliyandala is being described as a fishmonger and may have contracted it from a recently returned brother from Australia, officials said.

The authorities have shut down the Peliyagoda central fish market for three days for retail business as a precaution.

The market was also disinfected yesterday.

Meanwhile, the number of people infected in the Bandaranayake Mawatha area in central Colombo has increased by six as of last night.

With one more found in Warakapola, the total COVOD 19 positive cases have risen to 310. As 102 have recovered and have been discharged from hospital and seven have died the number of active COVID 19 patients is 310. Some 158 patients are under observation in various hospitals.

Officials at the COVID 19 prevention Task Force told EconomyNext that the number of people infected in this cluster of patients has now risen to 55.

Army Chief Silva said that 1,010 people from 242 families in the area have been quarantined.

All the new patients found from this cluster were detected in the quarantine centres.

Police also said that residents in Dehiwela were alerted last night as one of the sons of the Bandaranayake Mawatha patient 1, had been selling masks and other products in that area.

He too has tested positive for COVID 19.

The first patient in this cluster had returned to Sri Lanka after a pilgrimage in India with her husband and son on March 12.

She had been seated to a man who had been coughing on the aircraft and as she was an asthmatic had requested a seat change, Director-General of Health Services told media.

However although she had been sick her family members called the Infectious Diseases hospital only on April 15, and found to be COVID 19 thereafter. Her husband and son are also infected. (Colombo, April 22, 2020)