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Sri Lanka’s newest Covid patient has “emerged from the community” – Chief Epidemiologist

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is confirming that the newest Covid 19 patient that was identified last night “has emerged from the community” and issued warnings to the public to strictly observe guidelines as the government ordered all schools in the country closed from tomorrow.

Universities and other tertiary educational institutions in the Gampaha area, where the patient was found, including the Kelaniya University, the Yakkala Ayurveda Institute and the Naiwela Technological Institute are also closed.

Visitors are also not permitted to enter the Mahara and Negombo Prisons, officials said.

Schools throughout the country have been ordered closed from tomorrow.

A community infection has been reported in Sri Lanka after two months, the country’s Chief Epidemiologist Dr Sudath Samaraweera said in an audio recording released to Media.

“It is very important for us to trace this patient’s contacts and take necessary action,” he said.

Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi told reporters today that although the country had controlled the pandemic well, another case has emerged.

“There is only one case like this at present however we have been successful at controlling because we have been following the guidelines given to us by the Ministry of Health,” she said.

The Army Commander Lt Gen Shavendra Silva however had a harsher message saying that the public are not following the guidelines and “seem to have forgotten that we still have Covid.”

The Health Minister urged the public to avoid “crowded places where there is a crush of people such as Musical Shows, parties and other events.”

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“This is a disease that can be contracted even by breathing next to each other,” she said.

“Please wear your masks and practice social distancing which is staying one-metre away from one another.”

Samaraweera also said that observing the guidelines would prevent community spread and help the country regain control of the disease.

“Any place, be it a school or place of worship, the temperature of individuals must be checked and cleanliness observed,” he said. (Colombo, October 4, 2020)

Reported by Arjuna Ranawana