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Sri Lanka stamping out Navy Coronavirus cluster as Covid-19 count soars to 588

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is contact tracing fast and bringing back members of the armed forces on leave to stamp out a cluster spreading from Navy ratings who had gone on leave to many districts amid curfews after getting leave.

Sri Lanka’s total Coronavirus count went to 588 on April 27, according to health ministry data with over 60 new persons mostly Navy ratings being confirmed as a nation-wide curfew was clamped down to locate sailors on leave.

“The Navy officers are giving information on contacts unlike civilians so it is easier for intelligence officers to locate contacts,” Anil Jasinghe head of Sri Lanka’s health service said.

Sri Lanka has conducted the first community screening among underserved areas in Colombo where positive cases had tuned up.

Sri Lanka had confirmed over 60 persons on April 27, confirming over 60 persons, the highest in a single day.

“Most were from the Navy,” Jasinghe told Sri Lanka’s Derana Television. “There were sailors from many districts but the majority from the Welisara camp.”

“After the first Navy person was found from Polonnaruwa our field staff and intelligence officers were actively seeking contacts.”

From the Dabare Mawatha in Narahenpita there were two Coronavirus patients, where a patient had been reported earlier.

After two days of sample testing the second person was found. The areas has been locked down.

In Torrington ’60 watte’ a person who had come from Colombo’s Bandaranaike Mawatha had been identified as a Coronavirus patient.

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In Havelock Lane, a Colombo Municipal Council worker who was involved in cleaning duties had been confirmed. The driver of the truck was from Bandaranaike area.

Sri Lanka apparently did not test high risk workers including those in quarantine and still does not test drivers involved in inter-district travel.

There has been no community screening of high risk areas until the tests in under-served areas.

Initially tests were denied to anyone outside hospital on the claim that PCR was a ‘diagnostic’ and not a ‘screening’ test. Tests were also denied to first contacts to find whether the next level contacts were likely to be infected.

Tests were also denied to those who were released from quarantine until one person got infected.

It is not clear whether those released from hospital are being re-tested. In Vietnam several persons who were released from hospital had tested positive on follow up tests and had been re-admitted to hospital.

Similar trends had been observed in Korea. (SB-Colombo/Apr28/2020)

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