Sri Lanka scrambles counter Coronavirus measures after prison inmate tests positive

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is scrambling to deploy containment action in a prison in the capital Colombo after a recently transferred inmate was tested positive to Coronavirus, the state information office said.

“The inmate was transferred to the Welikada remand prison on June 27, from a drug rehabilitation centre in Kandakadu,” the state information office said quoting the head of Sri Lanka’s Health Service, Anil Jasinghe.

PCR tests are now being conducted contacts connected to this patient and quarantine processes have also started.

Prison officers and other inmates are also being tested.

The statement did not say how the person got infected in the first place, but there is a quarantine centre in Kandakadu.

Sri Lanka has contained the spread of Coroanvirus through aggressive contact tracing and quarantine, though there had been a reluctance to test contacts and quarantine inmates.

Sri Lanka had confirmed 2,077 Coronavirus patients up to July 06, with about half of them coming from a Navy base.

All cases since April 30 until July 06 had come from the Navy cluster or foreign returnees in quarantine, the health ministry said.

Sri Lanka has seen spikes in Covid-19 cases partly due to weaknesses in the testing regime in the past including a Navy base.

(Colombo/July 07/2020)