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Sixty more Navy Personnel confirmed COVID 19 positive today total 409

ECOMOMYNEXT – Thirty more Sri Lanka Navy personnel in the Welisara Navy camp have tested positive for COVID 19 bringing the total in the facility to sixty, Army Commander Lt Gen Shavendra Silva said.

Eleven more patients in quarantine have been detected today bringing the total number of COVID 19 patients in Sri Lanka to 409.

Along with this discovery thousands of Navy personnel and their families went into lockdown at the huge base as well as at Navy-run Quarantine centres, Silva said.

The massive base houses some 4,000 people who are all in lockdown since yesterday

He said that PCR tests conducted today on Navy Personnel in the camp by Navy Medics as well as Health Department personnel had covered hundreds of individuals.

The huge outbreak, the biggest in a single location, is being traced to a Navy operation to round up a group of alleged drug addicts in the Suduwella area of Ja-Ela who were connected to a COVID 19 patient.

Silva in a video press release said that the first Navy Sailor detected as being COVID positive was discovered when he went on leave to his hometown of Polonnaruwa.

Other reports that the sailor had used multiple means of transport, including a vegetable transport truck, a three-wheeler and a motorbike to reach home.

There he had been visiting with friends and family.

The Army Chief said that all the Navy Personnel who had been on leave have been recalled and the relatives they had been living with have been sent to quarantine centres set up by the Navy.

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He said that in some of the areas where the Navy personnel had been living while on leave some local resident had staged protests.

He assured those residents that by now the personnel concerned and their relatives have been removed to quarantine. (Colombo, April 24, 2020)

Reported by Arjuna Ranawana