The COVID-19 death toll yesterday rose to 53, with health authorities confirming that five more COVID-19 deaths had occurred in the country.
According to the Department of Government Information, the death of an 83-year-old resident of Colombo 14 occurred at home due to high blood pressure and diabetes along with COVID-19.
Two residents of Colombo 13 also passed away at their places of residence. One was a 78-year-old man who died of a heart attack caused by COVID-19 and the other was a 64-year-old man who died of asthma and COVID-19.
A 68-year-old resident of Chilaw was transferred from the Chilaw District Hospital to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) after he tested positive for COVID-19. However, he died at the NIID due to high blood pressure exacerbated by COVID-19 as well as a haemorrhagic stroke.
Health authorities also stated that an individual from Ratmalana died when he was being admitted to hospital due to chest pains. The cause of death is cited as high blood pressure, diabetes, and a heart attack. The individual was a COVID-19 patient and was 69 years old.
Claims of persons dropping dead on streets due to COVID-19 are circulating on social media and Police Spokesperson DIG Ajith Rohana said they are absolutely false, as only one COVID-19 death so far has occurred on the road.
“We have initiated an investigation on the fake news that has been published in social media. This type of fake news creates disharmony among the community of Sri Lanka, and apart from that, it is against the quarantine rules and regulations,” he said, adding that action will be taken against the perpetrators.
He went on to say that persons should refrain from circulating such false claims and that 17 persons have been arrested for making and spreading various false claims so far.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi yesterday issued a statement saying a decision on permitting burial as a method of disposing of the remains of COVID-19 infected persons will only be taken depending on the reports to be submitted by the appointed committee of experts.
“No decision was taken on this matter at the last Cabinet briefing. When the matter was taken up before Cabinet, I was informed that I should make a decision based on the reports submitted by the committee appointed to oversee this matter,” she said.