- 6,403 PCR tests performed yesterday, DGHS says laboratories resumed operations last evening
- Over 260,000 COVID-19 patients detected from clusters since October 2020
- Third wave COVID-19 detections rise to 81,653 in Western Province
- Health officials monitoring Lambda variant
By Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya
A total of 1,243 persons tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday, with the Health Promotion Bureau stating that 6,403 PCR tests were carried out over the course of the day.
Health officials have previously said the drop in testing was due to health sector trade union action. The trade union action ended on Tuesday and Director General of Health Services Dr. Asela Gunawardena said laboratory operations returned to the usual last evening.
Among the patients detected yesterday are 1,229 persons linked to the New Year cluster. The detections have raised the cumulative patient count of the Divulapitiya, Peliyagoda, Prisons and New Year clusters to 260,898.
This includes 166,624 persons from the New Year cluster, 82,785 persons from the Peliyagoda cluster, 7,191 persons from the Prisons cluster, and 3,059 persons from the Divulapitiya cluster.
The local cases also include 950 Navy personnel and their contacts, and 651 persons linked to the Kandakadu cluster, but the only active clusters at present are the New Year and Prisons clusters.
According to the Epidemiology Unit, 5,532 Sri Lankan returnees from abroad and 328 foreigners have also tested positive for COVID-19.
On Tuesday, 15 Sri Lankan returnees from abroad tested positive for the virus, along with 915 persons from the New Year cluster and four persons from the Prisons cluster.
A total of 934 COVID-19 patients were detected on Tuesday, including 201 persons from Colombo, 160 persons from Gampaha, and 102 persons from Kalutara.
During the third wave of the pandemic, 30,417 persons from Colombo, 28,608 persons from Gampaha, and 22,628 persons from Kalutara have tested positive for COVID-19.
The district distribution of COVID-19 patients detected to date shows 62,714 persons from Colombo, 47,142 persons from Gampaha, 29,686 persons from Kalutara, 14,281 persons from Kurunegala, and 13,570 persons from Kandy.
In total, 268,676 COVID-19 patients have been detected in the island.
At present, 27,232 persons are under medical care and 902 persons suspected of having COVID-19 are under observation.
The Epidemiology Unit states that 1,472 persons left treatment centres yesterday, raising the country’s COVID-19 recoveries to 238,131.
Meanwhile, concerns have been raised about the Lambda variant, which is of the C.37 lineage. According to the World Health Organization, the earliest documented sample of the variant was from Peru in December 2020. The variant was added to WHO’s list of Variants of Interest on 14 June.
In response to a question about the spread of the Lambda variant through overseas arrivals, DGHS Dr. Gunawardena said all arrivals, whether they are tourists or Sri Lankan returnees, have been halted from South America and South Africa.
He added that the country’s health authorities are monitoring the Lambda variant as well.