- 522 persons test positive for COVID-19, total rises to 46,248
- Includes 7,006 active patients and 39,023 recoveries
- 14 persons test positive from 550 antigen tests performed in WP
- Health authorities stress need to adhere to safety guidelines given spread of COVID-19
By Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya
The COVID-19 clusters that emerged from Divulapitiya, Peliyagoda and Prisons yesterday exceeded 42,000 patients, with health authorities stating that 522 COVID-19 patients were identified yesterday.
According to the Department of Government Information, 521 associates of the Peliyagoda COVID-19 cluster tested positive for the virus yesterday, bringing the total number of patients linked to the triple clusters to 42,498.
In addition to the above cluster, local COVID-19 cases include 950 Navy personnel and their contacts and 651 persons linked to the Kandakadu Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre from currently inactive clusters. Sri Lanka’s imported cases include 1,701 Sri Lankan returnees from abroad and 134 foreigners.
The total number of COVID-19 patients detected in the island is 46,248, of which 7,006 are currently under medical care. According to the Epidemiology Unit, 515 persons at the Bingiriya Treatment Centre, 380 persons at the Gallela Treatment Centre and 379 persons at the Punani Treatment Centre are among the country’s active patients.
While hospitals are monitoring 641 persons suspected of having COVID-19, a total of 39,023 persons have recovered from the virus to date. Those discharged from treatment centres yesterday include 73 persons from the Kahawatte Treatment Centre, 41 persons from the Bingiriya Treatment Centre and 40 persons from the Embilipitiya Treatment Centre.
Health Minister Pavithradevi Wanniarachchi yesterday said in Parliament that 71 hospitals and intermediate treatment centres with a capacity of over 11,800 beds are available in the country for COVID-19 treatment.
She added that the daily CPR PCR capacity has been increased to 15,000 and that random testing is carried out across the island.
According to the Health Promotion Bureau, 1,311,792 PCR tests have been carried out in the island to date, of which 12,456 tests were performed on Tuesday.
“The total number of tests carried out in Colombo, Negombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Panadura, Nugegoda and several other areas in Western Province is 1,060 and 550 persons were subjected to rapid antigen tests, of which 14 persons were COVID-19 positive,” Police Spokesperson DIG Ajith Rohana said, adding that PCR tests were carried out on 510 persons.
He went on to say that 81 persons were arrested in a 24-hour period for failing to wear face masks or maintain social distancing in other parts of the island.
Deputy Director of Health Services Dr. Hemantha Herath yesterday stressed the importance of adhering to safety guidelines, especially given the spread of the virus.
“There is a possibility of one person who has contracted the virus being in any given place. This may be in a small number like one or two persons but when tracing the contacts of the patients detected, they are from across the island,” he explained.
According to the Epidemiology Unit, 18,425 persons from Colombo, 9,581 persons from Gampaha and 3,114 persons from Kalutara are among the country’s total COVID-19 patient count. The district distribution of patients also records 1,495 patients from Kandy, 780 patients from Kalmunai and 765 patients from Ratnapura.
This includes Tuesday’s 121 patients from Colombo, 109 patients from Gampaha, 30 patients from Galle, 25 patients from Matara, 23 patients from Ampara and 23 patients from Matale. A total of 484 patients were detected on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the National Operations Centre for the Prevention of the COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) yesterday stated that the Bamunugama Diwanawatte Grama Niladhari Division in the Pujapitiya Police Division and the Moragala Grama Niladhari Division in the Eheliyagoda Police Division were isolated at 5 a.m. yesterday. The NOCPCO added that nine Grama Niladhari Divisions in the Akkaraipattu Police Division are no longer isolated.
In addition to this, the Buddhist Affairs Department of the Buddhasasana Ministry yesterday issued a statement on the reopening of ‘daham pasal’, which will take place on 17 January in all parts of the island except for isolated areas.