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Twelfth COVID-19 victim in Sri Lanka cremated

ECONOMYNEXT – The funeral of Rasadin Fathima Rizana, the 12th COVID-19 victim in Sri Lanka, was held at 1pm yesterday (24), authorities said.

The National Operations Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 (NOCPOC) said in a statement that the patient’s last rites were observed at the Kotikawatta cemetery yesterday with the participation of her husband who was in quarantine at the Club Hotel Dolphin, Waikkala, at the time.

Sri Lanka has so far cremated patients who died from COVID-19, in line with the country’s quarantine regulations. There was controversy surrounding the cremation of Muslim patients, going against Islamic precepts, with concerns raised by human rights activists.

According to the NOCPOC statement, 47-year-old Rizana, who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus upon arrival from India on August 20, passed away last morning (23) at the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH), Sri Lanka’s main COVID-19 treatment centre.

Rizana was the 12th patient to succumb to the pandemic in Sri Lanka, the island nation having mostly contained the spread of the disease with only 11 deaths reported until yesterday.

The Mawathagama resident had been in Chennai, India, over the past six months undergoing treatment for cancer, when she arrived in Sri Lanka on August 20. Upon her arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), Rizana was transferred to the military-run quarantine centre in Iranawila, Chilaw, where she tested positive for the virus. She was then admitted to the IDH on Saturday (22), where she passed away last morning.

Meanwhile, six new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Sri Lanka as at 6am yesterday, NOCPOC said in a separate statement. One of these patients was a returnee from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) who was being quarantined at a Sri Lanka Air Force-run facility in Mulaitivu. Two had returned from Kuwait, one of them in quarantine at the Eco Safari quarantine centre in Tissamaharama while the other was in quarantine at the GSH Hotel in Colombo. Two others who had returned from India were being quarantined at the Citrus Hotel in Waskaduwa. One patient was a returnee from the USA quarantined at the Ayurvedic Hospital in Rajagiriya.

As at 6am yesterday, the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the Kandakadu cluster had increased to 269.

Meanwhile, 110 Sri Lankan returnees from Nairobi, along with 31 from Dubai, 19 from Qatar, 14 from Chennai and 238 from Australia, were sent to military-run quarantine centres around the island yesterday.

A total of 161 had concluded their quarantine process at the military-run centres by yesterday morning, NOCPOC said, bringing the total number of completed quarantines in Sri Lanka to 31,173.

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At present, according to NOCPOC, 7,304 people are in quarantine in Sri Lanka in military-run centres.

Some 1,710 PCR tests were conducted yesterday, bringing the total PCR tests conducted in Sri Lanka to 202,907.

As at 6am yesterday, nine COVID-19 patients had made a full recovery, accordiong to NOCPOC, one of whom was a returnee. The other eight were from the Kandkadu cluster, according to the statement. (Colombo/Aug24/2020)

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