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Sri Lanka records 35 new COVID-19 patients in 24 hours; total cases rise to 4,523

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan health officials identified 35 new COVID-19 patients over a 24-hour period that ended at 11am today (10), the National Operations Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 (NOCPOC) said.

Of the 35 patients, five are returnees from abroad –  two having returned from the UAE, two being foreign sailors from India, and one from Kuwait.

Of the 30 local patients, 24 are from the Minuwangoda cluster. Three are close contacts of patients identified in the minuwangoda cluster, the other three being individual patients.

With the new cases, total confirmed COVID-19 patients in the island has risen to 4,523. Some 350 individuals are currently under investigation in hospitals, with 1,214 active cases.

Eighteen Sri Lankan patients who had arrived from abroad returned home upon recovery as at 6am today, bringing total recoveries in Sri Lanka to 3,296.

The number of patients reported from the Minuwangoda cluster has increased to 1,083, with 24 new positive cases from employees and their close contacts being 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 1034 employees and 46 close contacts being identified as positive cases.

By this morning, 45 returnees arrived in Colombo, all of whom flew in from Doha, Qatar, NOCPOC said, adding that all returnees will be directed to military-run quarantine centres.

Some 465 people ended their quarantine at military-run centres yesterday, according to NOCPOC. A total of 50,364 people have completed quarantine so far.

NOCPOC said so far the government has provided quarantine facilities for 43,394 returnees.

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NOCPOC said in total 1,358 returnees have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, while 79 foreigners have also been identified by authorities as COVID-19 positive cases.

Meanwhile, the number of people in quarantine in 89 centres run by the armed forces has increased to 10,181.

A total of 319,146 PCR tests have been conducted in the island so far, with 5,333 tests carried out yesterday. NOCPOC reports said results of 2,524 PCR tests are still pending.

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 10 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, 1,083 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, Homagama, Ambalpola and Laggala, Pallegama hospitals have been taken over by the health services department to treat COVID-19 patients. (Colombo/Oct10/2020)

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