- 670 persons test positive for COVID-19, total patient count rises to 50,899
- 33,628 patients detected from Western Province
- No threat of new strain spreading to community from UK arrival who tested positive: Chief Epidemiologist
- Says individual receiving treatment separately to avoid exposure
By Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya
The Divulapitiya, Peliyagoda, and Prisons triple cluster yesterday rose to 47,127 patients, with 670 persons testing positive for COVID-19.
According to the Department of Government Information, 663 associates of the Peliyagoda COVID-19 cluster and seven persons linked to the Prisons cluster were among the patients detected yesterday.
A total of 50,899 COVID-19 patients have been detected in the island to date. In addition to the triple cluster, the total count includes 1,723 Sri Lankan returnees from abroad, 950 Navy personnel and their contacts, 651 persons linked to the Kandakadu cluster, and 135 foreigners.
The district distribution of the total count shows 19,794 persons from Colombo, 10,429 persons from Gampaha, and 3,405 persons from Kalutara. In addition to this, 1,752 persons from Kandy, 905 persons from Ratnapura, and 883 persons from Kalmunai.
This includes the 692 patients detected on Wednesday, of which 223 were from Colombo, 119 were from Gampaha, 112 were from Kalutara, 34 were from Matale, and 18 were from Galle.
According to the Epidemiology Unit, 6,905 persons are currently under medical care. Deputy Director General of Health Services (Public Health) yesterday stated that 12,476 beds are being used as needed in 75 treatment centre for the management of COVID-19 patients.
The active patients include 549 persons at the Punani Treatment Centre, 437 persons at the Bingiriya Treatment Centre, and 396 persons at the Giriulla Treatment Centre.
Hospitals are also monitoring 741 persons suspected of having COVID-19.
The Epidemiology Unit added that 43,747 persons have recovered from COVID-19 to date. Among those discharged from hospitals yesterday were 70 persons from the Gallela Treatment Centre, 31 persons from the Kopai Treatment Centre, and 30 persons from the Punani Treatment Centre.
According to the Health Promotion Bureau, 1,430,864 PCR tests have been performed in the island to date, including 14,565 tests on Wednesday.
Regarding the COVID-19 patient detected in Sri Lanka with the new strain of the virus spreading rapidly in the United Kingdom (UK), Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Sudath Samaraweera explained that the individual was being treated separately, and that he has had no contact with locals. Health authorities thus see no risk of the new strain spreading in the country.
“This strain spreads quickly and because there is a risk of it entering our country, flights from the UK have been temporarily suspended. However, by then, certain groups had arrived in the island. An individual who came to Sri Lanka for the cricket tour tested positive for COVID-19. It has been identified that he had contracted this strain of the virus.”
Dr. Samaraweera went on to say that COVID-19 vaccines manufactured thus far protected persons against this particular strain as well, which was positive news.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Army yesterday published a statement on overseas arrivals in the island saying 95 persons from South Korea, 66 persons from the United Arab Emirates, and 45 persons from Qatar arrived yesterday morning.
Passengers from Ethiopia, Oman, Netherlands, Maldives, Pakistan, Turkey, Oman, Israel, and the UAE were expected throughout the day.A total of 6,703 persons are currently undergoing quarantine at 81 centres, the Sri Lanka Army said.