Sri Lanka stocks close 2-pct down amid a new COVID cluster detected
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks fell 1.92 percent at Friday’s close amid a new cluster of coronavirus infections detected at a drug rehabilitation centre in the North Central Province, brokers said.
Factoring in the new trend, Colombo’s All Share Price Index plunged 1.91 percent or 97.79 points to close at 4,992.62.
The S&P SL20 index of more liquid stocks fell 2.97 percent or 65.47 points to 2,140.19.
The market turnover was 2.5 billion rupees with 22 stocks gaining and 170 falling.
Net foreign sales in the market were 223 million rupees.
Crossings in the market amounted to 244 million rupees in counters John Keells, Durdans (non-voting), and Ceylon Beverage Holdings.
John Keells Holdings contributed most to ASPI’s fall, declining 3.50 rupees a share to trade at 110.50 rupees.
Among the others which contributed to the ASPI plunge were, Commercial Bank of Ceylon, down 2.70 rupees to trade at 73.90 rupees a share and Dialog Axiata traded at 11.00 rupees a share, down 30 cents.
Sri Lanka detected 56 new COVID cases yesterday at the Kandakadu Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre for drug addicts, making it the third new major cluster.
The new patients were discovered after 450 staff and inmates at the centre were given PCR tests after a Remand Prisoner at the Welikada jail tested positive two days ago.
Today, 196 more patients were found at the centre, taking the new total to 252 COVID cases.
All the 338 inmates in and the staff at the centre have been given PCR tests.
Army Commander Lt General Shavendra Silva said the investigation as to how inmates of the facility in Kandakadu in the Polonnaruwa district became infected is still on-going.
However, official sources said that some drug addicts who were transferred to Sri Lanka from jails in Middle Eastern countries when workers and others were repatriated were also sent for rehabilitation to the centre.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Relations 87, Sri Lankans who were incarcerated in the Middle East have been brought back to Sri Lanka because they had been on deportation orders.
It is not known how many of them are at Kandakadu.
This is the highest surge in cases since June 3.
Sri Lanka moved into a semi-normalcy after a two and a half month-long coronavirus lockdowns were eased in Mid-May.