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Sri Lanka hunts source of Divulapitiya Covid-19 case under curfew, public vigilance urged

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is tracing contacts and is hunting for the index case of a Coronavirus patient that turned up from the community Sunday after imposing Covid-19 curfews and the public is warned to be vigilant for more cases, official said.

Anti-Coronavirus curfews have been imposed on Divulapitiya, the hometown of the patient and nearby Minuwangoda, where the 39 year old apparel factory supervisor worked.

Authorities still do not know from whom she contracted the disease from and whether the index is from abroad or there is a small cluster.

“The curfew will remain in place until further notice and until the source of the infection is found,” Sri Lanka’s military Chief Shavendra Silva, who heads the anti-Coronavirus task force of the island told reporters.

“Any Sri Lankans who visited these areas in the last few days should be careful. We saw people become careless in recent days.

“We are trying to find the source of the infection. I am confident we can find the source in the near future.”

Public Warning

“Considering the latest developments in the COVID situation in Sri Lanka it is crucial that we embrace the possibility of undetected spread among our communities,” Sri Lanka’s Health Promotion Bureau, the public education unit of the state health service said.

“It’s time for us to update our good practices that were put to good use during the initial outbreak of COVID-19 in SL.”

Sri Lanka has closed schools and pre-schools until further notice and the public has been asked to practice social distancing.

The new patient was confirmed with Coronavirus at Gampaha Hospital where staff have also been quarantined.

She was admitted to the hospital on September 30 and was confirmed with the disease on October 03 night on PCR a test conducted before discharge.

General Silva said the patient had travelled to the factory in a company bus. Half of the factory workers were also in quarters and only some workers had travelled daily from home, limiting the potential spread of the disease.

However the infected person was a supervisor and had come into contact with a number of persons.

Her contacts were identified and being quarantined. PCR testing was under way General Silva said.


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No Parties

Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said health guideline previously issued to businesses and workplaces should be strictly enforced.

Parties and musical shows should be halted for a while she said.

“We saw many people being complacent in recent weeks,” Minister Wanniarachchi said. “The Sri Lankan public followed health guidelines better than the public of many other countries that is why we were able to control the disease.

“So we want public co-operation. Parties and musical shows should be halted for a time.”

“The health ministry will carry out inspections on following health guidelines.”

She said each hospital has been instructed to do at least 10 PCR tests of patients with respiratory diseases or fever.

The patient was identified after Gampaha Hospital carried out a PCR test just as she was to be discharged.

Sri Lanka is among the most successful countries in Controlling Coronavirus, along with nations like Vietnam and Cambodia.

Sri Lanka is finding a Coronavirus patient from the community after a gap of several weeks.
Recent infections have come from foreign returnees.

Up to October 03 evening 3,395 patients had been confirmed in Sri Lanka and 13 persons had died, Sri Lanka’s health ministry said. (Colombo/Oct04/2020)

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