COVID-19 cases cross 900 mark

Friday, 15 May 2020 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}



  • 36 new confirmed cases over last two days bring total to 925; active cases at 471
  • 63 recover from COVID-19, bringing total recoveries to 445
  • Nearly 3,000 under quarantine; 686 released so far
  • Countrywide curfew on Sunday, Colombo and Gampaha districts’ curfew further extended
  • Health authorities concerned public not following guidelines 
  • Special ferry flight repatriates 283 persons from the Maldives

By Asiri Fernando

The cumulative cases of COVID-19 in the country rose to 925, with 36 more confirmed during the past two days, whilst the Government clamped down a countrywide curfew on Sunday 17 May.

Adopting continuous caution, the Government postponed the lifting of curfew for Colombo and Gampaha until further notice, in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19. The President’s Media Unit said in other districts, the curfew will be imposed today at 8 p.m. and continue until 5 a.m. tomorrow. Island-wide curfew will be re-imposed at 8 p.m. tomorrow, to be lifted on 18 May at 5 a.m. in all districts except Colombo and Gampaha. Curfew in all districts except Colombo and Gampaha will be imposed nightly at 8 p.m. and lifted daily at 5 a.m. from 18 to 23 May.

Despite the curfew, the resumption of civilian life and economic activities will continue in the Districts of Colombo and Gampaha until 16 May, and re-commence from 18 Monday, PMD added.

The Health Ministry confirmed that 36 more patients joined the total number of 925 COVID-19-infected patients in the country. Of the cumulative total, total active cases number 471 and are being treated in seven hospitals island-wide. The highest number of patients (193) are at the Navy Hospital, with 111 at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID).

A total of 465 Navy Sailors have tested positive for COVID-19 to date, and 121 of them have been moved to a 14-day post-treatment quarantine after recovering from the virus, the National Operations Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 (NOCPOC) said yesterday.

The 121 Navy personnel who recovered were only released into quarantine after testing negative in PCR tests for COVID-19, while 344 sailors remain under treatment for the virus, the NOCPOC added.

According to the Epidemiology Unit, 108 suspected patients are under investigation at various hospitals, including one foreigner at the Teaching Hospital Ragama, 19 at the Sri Jayewardenepura Hospital, 13 at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL), 13 at the General Hospital Chilaw, 12 at the Negombo District General Hospital, seven at the Castle Street Teaching Hospital, six at the Teaching Hospital Anuradhapura, five at the Kotelawala Defence University Hospital, four each at the Gampaha District General Hospital and Teaching Hospital Kurunegala, three each at the Teaching Hospital Ragama, National Hospital Kandy, District General Hospital Kalutara, and Colombo East Base Hospital, two each at the NIID, Teaching Hospital Ratnapura, and Teaching Hospital Kalubowila, and one each at the Teaching Hospital Karapitiya, Lady Ridgeway Hospital, De Soysa Maternity Hospital, District General Hospital Polonnaruwa, Chest Hospital Welisara, and Base Hospital Marawila.

Health Services Director Dr. Anil Jasinghe expressed his displeasure, noting that some members of the public still behave in an irresponsible manner, disregarding the public health regulations in place. 

“Behaviour of some at taverns and bars opened this week were not in line with the public safety regulations, and poses a high risk,” he opined.

Although COVID-19 in Sri Lanka was under control, Dr. Jasinghe warned that the country was not out of the woods yet. 

The NOCPOC said 686 persons who completed a quarantine program at seven quarantine centres were released yesterday, after testing negative in PCR tests for COVID-19.

A total of 8,846 person have completed quarantine at military-run centres and returned home as of yesterday, while 2,987 remain in quarantine in 37 centres. 

According to the NOCPOC, 283 Sri Lankans were repatriated from the Maldives yesterday on a special SriLankan Airlines flight. The returnees were moved to quarantine centres to complete the mandatory quarantine program.