Suicide victim added to Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 death tally

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s health authorities reported its 22nd COVID-19 death today (02). However, there is confusion regarding the report as the the victim had, according to the authorities, died by suicide.

The victim is a 27-year old male resident of Wathara, Panadura, the National Operation Centre for prevention of COVID-19 (NOCPOC) said. NOCPOC spokesman Col Vijitha Hettiarachchi told EconomyNext that the person was a drug addict who had attempted suicide on a previous occasion. He had attempted suicide again on October 31 and, according to Hettiarachchi, died while being admitted to the Panadura base hospital.

The man tested positive for the novel coronavirus in a PCR test conducted post mortem, Hettiarachchi said.

Sri Lanka has reported close to seven deaths within a week’s period.

The Health Ministry has warned that the virus load of the infection in the second wave is much higher.

Sri Lanka’s current COVID-19 outbreak is caused by a strain of SARS-CoV-2 found in Denmark and Sweden, researchers who have sequenced its gene have found.

A team from Sri Lanka’s Sri Jayewardenepura University have said the current strain is a one that has not been previously found in Sri Lanka, after sequencing 16 samples.

“This virus belongs to the B.1.42 lineage which is found in countries like Denmark and Sweden,” Chandima Jeewandara, a senior lecturer at Sri Lanka’s Sri Jayewardenepura University who is a member of the research team told Sri Lanka’s Swarnavahini television.

“It also has a mutation called D614G, which makes it highly transmissible,” he said.

Meanwhile, 397 people tested positive for the novel coronavirus according to latest figures.

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With the new cases, the total of the new wave has risen to 7,389 cases while Sri Lanka’s total patient count has increased to 11,060  with 6,134 active cases and 405 under investigation in hospitals.

Sri Lanka has extended its COVID-19 curfews in the Western Province and key areas to contain the spread of the virus after the disease spread country-wide and large numbers of infected people turned up in the capital Colombo and some key towns in random tests. (Colombo/Nov02/2020)

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