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Sri Lanka confirms 29 new COVID-19 patients in 24 hours; total cases rise to 4,488

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan health officials identified 29 new COVID-19 patients over a 24-hour period that ended at 11am today (09), the National Operations Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 (NOCPOC) said.

Of the 29 patients, 10 are returnees from abroad –  five having returned from the UAE, two being foreigners from Iran, two from Ethiopia and one from Sudan while the rest are the Brandix apparel factory employees from Divulapitiya and their direct contacts.

With the new cases, total confirmed COVID-19 patients in the island has risen to 4,488. Some 289 individuals are currently under investigation in hospitals, with 1,107 active cases.

Four Sri Lankan patients who had arrived from abroad returned home upon recovery as at 6am today, bringing total recoveries in Sri Lanka to 3,278.

The number of patients reported from the Minuwangoda cluster increased to 1,053, with 19 new patients discovered in the past 24 hours.

NOCPOC reports showed that after the first positive case of the Divulapitiya cluster was discovered by health authorities on October 03, within six days the cluster increased dramatically, with 10,31 employees and 22 close contacts being identified as positive cases.

By this morning, nine returnees arrived in Colombo, all of whom flew in from London, NOCPOC said, adding that all returnees will be directed to military-run quarantine centres.

Some 136 people ended their quarantine at military-run centres yesterday, according to NOCPOC. A total of 49,689 people have completed quarantine so far.

Meanwhile, the number of people in quarantine in 85 centres run by the armed forces increased to 9,630.

A total of 313,813 PCR tests have been conducted in the island so far, with 2,600 tests carried out yesterday.

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Chief Epidemiologist of the Ministry of Health’s Epidemiology Unit Doctor Sudath Samaraweera said PCR tests of all employees at the Minuwangoda Brandix apparel plant have been completed. Health officials are continuing to test close contacts of the employees and other residents in the Minuwangoda area.

Sri Lanka as at October 07 records 13 COVID-19 related deaths.

Officials said the COVID-19 Prevention Task Force is currently investigating three-clusters of possible novel coronoavirus patients related to the discovery of the patient in Divulapitiya, and, as of now, 1,053 cases have been discovered so far in these clusters.

The towns of Minuwangoda, Divulapitiya, Veyangoda, Gampaha, Kirindiwela, Dompe, Pugoda, Ganemulla, Weeragula, Weliweriya, Malwathuhiripitiya, Nittambuwa, Meerigama, Pallewela, Yakkala, Ja-ela, Seeduwa and Kandana Police areas are still under police curfew.

Hospitals in Minuwangoda, Welikanda, Iranawila, Rambukkana, Kamburugamuwa, Kattankudi, Hambanthota, Theldeniya, Mulleriyawa, as well as the Infectious Diseases Hospital and the Neville Fernando Hospital have been taken over by the health services department to treat COVID-19 patients. Hospitals in Homagama, Ambalpola and Laggala, Pallegama have also been prepared to treat COVID-19 patients, officials said. (Colombo/ October 9/ 2020)

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