Total COVID-19 count exceeds 19,000

Saturday, 21 November 2020 00:50 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

 An individual undergoing a PCR test

  • 435 associates of Peliyagoda cluster test positive, brings dual cluster to 15,765
  • 5,936 active cases currently under medical care at 56 treatment centres
  • 6,508 cases identified from Colombo District, 5,224 cases from Gampaha District
  • One more COVID-19 death; toll up to 74

By Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases identified in the island yesterday exceeded 19,000, with the detection of 439 more patients.

According to the Department of Government Information (DGI), 435 patients are contacts of the Peliyagoda COVID-19 cluster while four patients were overseas arrivals. This brings the total count of the dual cluster that emerged from Divulapitiya and Peliyagoda to 15,765.

While the case count of the Welisara Navy cluster is 950 and the Kandakadu cluster is 651, with both being inactive, the country’s total COVID-19 patient count also includes 1,496 Sri Lankan returnees from abroad and 106 foreigners.

This brings the total number of COVID-19 patients identified in the island to 19,280. While only 3,396 of these cases were identified until 4 October this year, the remaining cases were identified since the emergence of the Divulapitiya COVID-19 cluster.

According to the Epidemiology Unit, 5,936 persons are currently receiving treatment at 56 treatment centres in the country. This includes 711 persons at the Punani Treatment Centre, 407 persons at the Bingiriya Treatment Centre, 363 persons at the Neville Fernando Hospital, and 314 at the Kandakadu Treatment Centre. Hospitals are also monitoring 462 persons suspected of having COVID-19.

The country’s COVID-19 death toll rose to 74 yesterday with the death of a COVID-19 patient at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka. According to the Department of Government Information, the individual was a resident of Colombo-2 and was 70-years-old. The cause of death is cited as exacerbated heart disease with COVID-19 infection.

The Epidemiology Unit adds that hospitals discharged 368 persons yesterday, bringing the total COVID-19 recoveries in the island to 13,271. Yesterday’s recoveries include 57 persons from the Gallela Treatment Centre, 46 persons from the Koggala Long Beach Treatment Centre, and 36 persons from the Bingiriya Treatment Centre.

Meanwhile, the National Operations Centre for the Prevention of the COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) yesterday stated that 3,812 persons are currently undergoing quarantine at 36 centres managed by the Sri Lanka Army, Sri Lanka Navy, and Sri Lanka Air Force.

Those undergoing quarantine at centres include overseas arrivals. According to the NOCPCO, 52 persons from Australia, 12 persons from Japan, and two persons from Qatar yesterday returned to the island yesterday.

Meanwhile, health authorities yesterday said the majority of COVID-19 patients identified on Thursday were from the Colombo District. While 305 persons tested positive from the Colombo District on Thursday, the district total is 6,508, according to the Epidemiology Unit.

According to Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Sudath Samaraweera, 172 of the 305 cases identified from the Colombo District on Thursday were from the Colombo municipal area.

Speaking about the high number of patients identified from the Colombo District, Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) Assistant Secretary Dr. Senal Fernando yesterday said: “We know that the spread of COVID-19 is now centred on the Colombo District. Yet, we still see a delay in data compilation in the Colombo District.”

Despite previously calling for a total lockdown of Colombo city, Colombo Mayor Rosy Senanayake yesterday asked that arrangements should be made to tighten the control and lockdown enforced on Colombo North, Colombo Central, and Borella, where areas are currently isolated.

At present, 17 Police jurisdictions in the Colombo District are isolated. These are Woulfendal, Keselwatta, Maligawatta, Foreshore, Mutwal, Kotahena, Mattakkuliya, Bluemendal, Grandpass, Dematagoda, Borella, Wellampitiya, Maradana, Colombo Fort, Pettah, Slave Island, and Dam Street.

“Arrangements should be made so we can carry out 3,000 to 4,000 PCR tests per day and, in addition to testing first and second contacts, also carry out random sampling, identify patients and immediately transfer them to quarantine centres,” she said, adding that, in this way, the situation could quickly become manageable.

In addition to the Police jurisdictions mentioned above, the Angulana North and Angulana South Grama Sevaka Divisions in the Colombo District and the Peliyagoda, Wattala, Ja-Ela, Kadawatha, Ragama, Negombo, and Kelaniya Police Jurisdictions in the Gampaha District are also currently isolated.

A total of 5,224 COVID-19 patients have been identified from the Gampaha District to date, including 58 patients on Thursday.

According to the Health Promotion Bureau, 713,652 PCR tests have been carried out to date in the island, including 11,398 tests on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Police yesterday sought public help in detecting a COVID-19-infected individual who fled the National Infectious Diseases Institute (NIID) with her two-year-old child the previous night. The individual is 26 years old and a resident of Eheliyagoda.

It is believed she left the hospital at 9 p.m. on Thursday and arrived in Eheliyagoda at 10:30 p.m. where she handed the child over to relatives. She then travelled to Kiriella and Epitawela and back to Kiriella. Police are currently carrying out investigations to locate the individual.


Police sub-cluster increases to 839 cases