ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s health authorities identified four new COVID-19 cases at the Unity Plaza mall in Bambalapitiya this morning, the country’s official pandemic task force announced a short while ago.
The National Operation Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 (NOCPOC) said the four cases were identified after random PCR tests were carried out in the area. Authorities have temporarily shut down the mall and all staff will be subject to PCR testing, the task force said.
Officials said that both PCR tests and rapid antigen tests are being conducted to speed up the process, with the objective of identifying the maximum possible number of COVID-19 cases in order to contain the spread of the virus.
Health workers identified 688 new COVID-19 patients in Sri Lanka over a 24-hour period that ended at 6am today (15). With the new cases, Sri Lanka’s total patient count since March has increased to 33,478 with 9,015 active cases and 510 currently under investigation in hospitals.
Of the new cases identified as at 6am today, three are foreign seafarers, NOCPOC said in a statement. The remaining 685 are all from local clusters.
A majority of the new cases were found in the western province: 200 from Colombo, 117 from Kalutara, and 113 from Gampaha
A district-wise breakdown of the remainder is as follows: 55 from Mullaitivu, 48 from Galle, 38 from NuwaraEliya, 28 from Amapara, 17 from Kurunegala, 16 from kandy, 13 each from Ratnapura and Monaragala, eight from Matale, seven from Vavuniya, six from Jaffna, two from Kegalle, and one each from Puttalam, Matara, Batticaloa and Hambantota.
With 14,548 total cases, the Colombo district leads the total case count since March. The sparsely populated Mannar district has the lowest total yet, at 15.
As at 6am today, 516 Sri Lankan patients returned home upon recovery, bringing total recoveries in Sri Lanka to 24,309.
As per NOCPOC figures, 2,909 patients are currently receiving treatment at 39 government hospitals while another 5,093 patients are receiving treatment at a number of interim facilities operated by the military.
Some 7,800 people are currently in quarantine at 79 military-run centres, NOCPOC said.
Sri Lanka recorded two new deaths yesterday bringing the total COVID-19 death count in the country to 154.
The task force further said 210 returnees arrived in Colombo by this morning. All new arrivals have been directed to military-run quarantine facilities. (Colombo/Dec15/2020)