Six more persons test positive for COVID-19

Tuesday, 21 July 2020 00:28 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Total number of confirmed cases increases to 2,730
  • HPB shows recovery rate of 74.76%
  • Trade union action by PHIs Union continues

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Sri Lanka rose to 2,730 with six persons testing positive for COVID-19 yesterday.

This includes a resident of Rajanganaya who was a contact of a patient identified from the Kandakadu Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre. The remaining five persons were overseas returnees, including three from Saudi Arabia.

With the exception of the new cases, 869 Sri Lankan returnees from abroad as well as 31 foreigners have tested positive for COVID-19 so far, as have 950 Navy personnel and their close contacts, and 561 from the Kandakadu cluster and their close contacts.

According to the Epidemiology Unit, 678 persons are currently under medical care, including 367 at the Kandakadu Treatment Centre, 84 at the Welikanda Base Hospital, 67 at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID), and 62 at the Panagoda Army Hospital.

There are also 119 suspect patients under investigation at various hospitals, including 19 at the Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) Hospital.

In addition to this, the Epidemiology Unit also states that three persons were discharged from the NIID having recovered from COVID-19, along with two from the Kattankudy Base Hospital and one from the Colombo East Base Hospital.

The total recoveries in the country has risen to 2,041 and the Health Promotion Bureau (HPB) states that Sri Lanka’s recovery rate is 74.76%. The HPB also states that 139,591 PCR tests have been carried out so far, including 2,184 tests on Sunday.

The National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) also stated that 10 persons were repatriated from Doha yesterday morning and have been directed for quarantine. A total of 24,203 persons have completed the quarantine process at centres in the island so far, while a further 6,052 remain in quarantine.

The NOCPCO added that six persons left the Kalpitiya Quarantine Centre yesterday, while the Sri Lanka Army stated that 63 persons who arrived from Bahrain on 5 July left the Punani Quarantine Centre.

While COVID-19 containment measures are being carried out, the Public Health Inspectors’ (PHIs) Union will continue its trade union action to withdraw from duties until their demands are met by the Government. The Union President M.G. Upul Rohana told the Daily FT that discussions with the Health and Indigenous Medical Services Ministry officials, include the Secretary, did not result in the demands of the Union being met.

According to a statement issued by the PHIs Union on 17 July, the Union stated that the reason for the trade union action was an inability to perform duties without being empowered by COVID-19 health guidelines for the General Election to be held in August.

While the PHIs Union will continue their trade union action until they receive a satisfactory answer from the Government, Upul Rohana stated that the withdrawal from duties was affecting COVID-19 containment measures like contact tracing, self-quarantining, releasing people from quarantine, and the collection of ground level data.

In addition to this, the trade union action would also impact work done to contain the spread of other diseases, for instance, dengue.