- No new cases diagnosed for first time in weeks
- Second local patient cured, bringing active cases to 99
- 201 people in quarantine centres sent home
- Curfew outside Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara and north to be lifted for few hours today
- Curfew in north to be lifted for six hours on Friday
- Police launch hotlines
Providing a glimmer of hope, the Health Ministry yesterday said no new COVID-19 cases had been identified by Wednesday afternoon, a first in weeks, as authorities readied to lift curfew in selected areas for a few hours today.
The Government yesterday said that while the curfew imposed on Colombo, Gampaha, and Kalutara Districts will continue, all other districts excluding Puttalam, Vavuniya, Mannar, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Jaffna will have the curfew lifted at 6 am on Thursday morning, to be re-imposed by 12 noon.
Curfew will be lifted in the north on Friday at 6 am, to be re-imposed at 12 noon the same day. Travel between districts remains prohibited, the President’s Media Division said in a statement.
The Health Ministry yesterday said that as of 4:30 p.m., no new COVID-19 cases had been diagnosed, keeping the count of active cases at 99. The number remained unchanged up to the time of going to press.
Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi confirmed that no new cases of the virus had been recorded. However, according to the Health Promotion Bureau, 255 people remain hospitalised.
Over 3,000 people remain in 46 quarantine centres countrywide.
One more COVID-19 patient was reported to have recovered in Sri Lanka yesterday, bringing the total number of cases that have recovered and been discharged to three.
The total number of people who have been diagnosed with the virus is 102, with one Chinese national and two Sri Lankans going home after recovering. According to the Health Promotion Bureau, 255 individuals remain under observation in hospital, and the latest situation report by the Epidemiology Unit shows that 100 of these are at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID).
The Epidemiology Unit report states that 88 of the 99 confirmed cases are at the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH), while 10 are in Welikanda, and one is in Mulleriyawa. In addition to this, 33.3% of COVID-19 confirmed cases in Sri Lanka are in the 41 to 50 year age group; 68% are male and 32% are female.
The district distribution of the confirmed cases shows that Colombo has 22 cases, Kalutara has 14, and Gampaha has 10. All three districts were declared high-risk areas yesterday. The quarantine centres reported a total of 34 individuals testing positive for COVID-19.
A group of 201 individuals who were quarantined at the Punani and Kandakadu facilities were released yesterday morning, the Army said.
The batch of returnees underwent a 14-day quarantine program at the two Army-run facilities after being escorted there from the arrivals terminal at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA).
These included 144 persons who were quarantined at the Kandakadu facility with the remaining 57 from Punani. Those who were released underwent extensive medical screening and were provided transportation by the Army to return to their homes.
The Army and health authorities released 311 persons who completed quarantine procedure on Tuesday. According to National Operations Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Head Army Commander Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva, a total of over 3,000 individuals, including 31 foreigners, remain under quarantine in 47 centres.
The Police also launched two hotlines for the public to request assistance from home during the curfew period.
The numbers, 011 2444480 and 011 2444481, are now open for the public to report any breakdown of utility services, such as electricity or water stoppages. The public can also notify the Police of illness, or the need for medicines, for those who have prescriptions from a doctor, on the same numbers.
The Police also man the 119 crime reporting number around the clock for emergencies.