ECONOMYNEXT – With 34 deaths confirmed for the period of May 11 to 18, Sri Lanka surpassed 1,000 COVID-19 deaths today, the Government Information Department said.
Total COVID-19 deaths in the country has thus reached 1,015, a statement signed by Director General of Government Information Mohan Samaranayake said.
Meanwhile, 2,478 PCR tests came back positive for the virus today, the department said in a separate statement. Of these cases, 744 belong to the so called New Year cluster that health authorities claim emerged after the Sinhala & Tamil New Year holidays mid April.
Total confirmed COVID-19 infections in Sri Lanka has now reached 141,374.
Sri Lanka has seen a surge in daily cases over the past few weeks, forcing authorities to impose movement restrictions that amount to unofficial island-wide curfews with brief intervals.
Earlier today, authorities declared May 24 and 25 special government holidays on top of the unofficial lockdown already in place from May 21 to 28 with a short respite on May 25.
With the health system in danger of being overrun, the government is set to introduce guidelines for asymptomatic patients to be treated at home, according to Army Commander Gen Shavendra Silva.
Health Services Director General Dr Asela Gunawardena will release the finalised guidelines by tomorrow (19), Silva told the privately owned Swarnavahini network yesterday.
State Minister for COVID-19 Control Dr Sudarshini Fernandopulle too said May 16 that Sri Lanka will begin “home management” of asymptomatic patients starting May 17, as new confirmations outpaced the rate at which treatment centres could be built.
However, patients developing respiratory difficulties will be hospitalised, she told reporters. (Colombo/May18/2021)