Sri Lanka awaiting foreign expert to fix Coronavirus PCR machine, Covid-19 total tops 9000

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is awaiting an expert from abroad to fix a high capacity Coronavirus testing machine which is out of order and is delaying test results the island’s anti-Covid task force chief General Shavendra Silva said.

“Our technicians tried very hard to fix it but could not,” he said, speaking to Sri Lanka’s privately-run Derana Television.

“We have worked at a diplomatic level to get down the technical officer. Most likely he will arrive tomorrow.”

He said the machine had been running without a break for almost a month since the outbreak.

As a result some test results were delayed, creating difficulties in making real time decisions, he said.

This was partly the reason for putting Coronavirus curfews in Maharagma and Panadura when a higher number of cases were found in Moratuwa he said.

However there is a fall in the numbers in North Gampaha areas which are now under curfew, he said.

Sri Lanka found 335 new Coronavirus cases on October 28 taking the total in new clusters to 5,731, health ministry data showed as authorities continued to trace contacts and do targeted sample tests and new curfews.

The total went up to 9,205 on October 28.

Despite this on October 27, Sri Lanka labs had conducted 8,831 Coronavirus tests and 457 cases were found Deputy Health Director in charge of Laboratory Services Ananda Jayalal said.

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The numbers in North Gampaha was starting to fall, General Silva said. Gampaha had been under curfew for almost a month.

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Sri Lanka is placing the entire Western province under curfews.

Officials have asked the public not to cross district borders and stay in their own districts.

Deputy Inspector General Ajith Rohana said they had information that some people were planning to leave Colombo before the curfews.

He said the curfews were announced before hand so that people will not leave and hotels in Ella and other areas would not have to buy food and prepare.

“We have placed roadblocks already,” he said. “We have information that people are planning to leave before the curfew

“The curfews were placed to stop the spread of the disease from the Western province.”

Curfew is to lifted for the areas which will come under curfew tonight on Monday at 0500 hours.

Other areas will be under curfews and will open as scheduled for people to buy goods. (Colombo/Oct29/2020)

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