Dual cluster expands to 9,092 cases, with 383 persons testing positive

Friday, 6 November 2020 00:04 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • COVID-19 death toll increases by 5
  • Confirmed cases rise to 12,570, of which 5,918 are under medical care
  • Over 700 persons leave hospitals, recoveries rise to 6,623
  • President instructs officials to strictly monitor self-quarantine process once curfew is lifted
  • 84,000 persons undergoing self-quarantine, including 40,767 in the Western Province: PMD
  • No plans to extend quarantine curfew further: NOCPCO

By Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya

The dual COVID-19 cluster that emerged from a garment manufacturing facility in Minuwangoda and the Peliyagoda Fish Market expanded to 9,092, with 383 persons testing positive for the virus yesterday.

According to the Department of Government Information, the 383 persons were contacts of the Peliyagoda cluster.

A total of 12,400 COVID-19 patients have been identified in the island to date, including 1,465 Sri Lanka returnees from abroad, 950 Navy personnel and their contacts, 651 persons connected to the Kandakadu cluster, and 100 foreigners.

The number of active cases currently stands at 5,918, of which 663 persons are at the Punani Treatment Centre, 393 persons are at the Bingiriya Treatment Centre, 390 persons are at the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital, and 377 persons are at the Kandakadu Treatment Centre.

Hospitals are also monitoring 429 persons suspected of having COVID-19.

The COVID-19 death toll rose to 29 yesterday, with five deaths being classified as COVID-19-related deaths by health authorities. This includes a 46-year-old COVID-19 patient who was receiving treatment at the Pimbura District Hospital, where he passed away on 4 November. A resident of Colombo 2, the individual suffered from kidney disease for a long time before his passing.

A 68-year-old resident of Wellampitiya, who also passed away on 4 November, is also being considered a COVID-19 death. She died at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka, where she was admitted due to chest pains.

The autopsy of a 58-year-old individual who died at her place of residence in Colombo 12 revealed she had contracted the virus. The cause of death was reported as a heart attack caused by COVID-19.

The autopsy of a 73-year-old resident of Colombo 14 who also passed away in her home revealed she was COVID-19 positive. She died due to a lung condition caused by COVID-19.

A 74-year-old individual from Colombo 5 also passed away due to a heart attack caused by COVID-19. While the autopsy revealed he had contracted the virus, he too passed away at home.

Meanwhile, the total number of COVID-19 recoveries yesterday rose to 6,623, with 765 persons being discharged from hospitals. This includes 149 persons from the Gallela Treatment Centre, 104 persons from the Embilipitiya Treatment Centre, and 88 persons from the Kahagolla Treatment Centre.

According to the President’s Media Division (PMD), 84,000 persons are currently undergoing self-quarantine in 31,457 houses in the country. In the Western Province, 40,676 persons belonging to 13,911 families are currently undergoing self-quarantine.

The PMD yesterday issued a statement on President Gotabaya’s instructions to officials to strictly monitor the self-quarantine process once quarantine curfew is lifted.

At the discussion held yesterday, President Rajapaksa issued several directives, with attention being drawn to the need to isolate areas when necessary, with estates and flats being especially focused on.

Economic centres will be restricted to wholesale trade online, with trade activities being carried out amidst adherence to guidelines and regular PCR testing. Random testing will also be carried out in the Free Trade Zone in Katunayake, which is permitted to operate.

Meanwhile, Police Spokesperson DIG Ajith Rohana said 112 institutions were now permitted to use their official IDs to travel to and from work. In response to a question on action taken against persons who left the Western Province ahead of quarantine curfew imposed last Friday, he said that 550 persons were currently undergoing quarantine and were expected to return to the Western Province on 12 November.

DIG Ajith Rohana added that investigations would be launched to identify other persons returning to the Western Province when quarantine curfew was lifted on Monday, and take necessary action.

While not giving a definite answer, National Operations Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) Head Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva yesterday said the President did not want to extend quarantine further as it was important that lockdown was relaxed as soon as possible.

Prevention and containment measures are thus being carried out during the 10-day lockdown of the Western Province. However, it was vital that the public adhere to safety guidelines, he added.

In response to a question about delays in PCR reports, Silva said, “As the public is aware, during the past 10 days, a high capacity PCR machine broke down. Technicians from abroad were brought down and the machine is functional again. During those few days, there was a delay in the results of three to five days.”

He also responded to claims on the need for more PCR machines, saying that it would be better if there were machines across the country, but there were certain limitations in this regard. The NOCPCO Head added that daily capacity had increased significantly since March and that the Health Ministry was in the process of increasing capacity further.

The Health Promotion Bureau states that 556,359 PCR tests have been carried out to date, including 11,316 tests on Wednesday.

According to the NOCPCO, 156 persons left quarantine centres yesterday, bringing the total number of persons to leave centres to 63,439. While 2,601 persons are currently undergoing quarantine at 33 centres, 22 persons who arrived from Qatar yesterday have been directed for quarantine.