- Total patient count rises to 507,330, includes 402,390 from New Year cluster
- 60,906 persons under medical or home-based care
- Oxygen imports from India unnecessary due to drop in patients requiring oxygen: Jayasumana
- Says there is a 15% drop in patients receiving ICU care
By Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya
Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 detections rose to 507,330 with the detection of 1,321 COVID-19 positive persons yesterday. Persons who tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday include 1,321 persons from the New Year cluster. A total of 7,976 PCR tests were carried out yesterday.
According to the Health Promotion Bureau, 8,338 PCR tests and 2,181 rapid antigen tests were conducted the previous day and 1,518 COVID-19 patients were detected. This includes 1,423 persons from the New Year cluster, 86 persons from the Prisons cluster, and nine Sri Lankan overseas arrivals.
The Epidemiology Unit states that 402,390 persons from the New Year cluster, 82,785 persons from the Peliyagoda cluster, 8,635 persons from the Prisons cluster, and 3,059 persons from the Divulapitiya cluster have been detected to date.
In addition to this, 6,898 Sri Lankan overseas returnees and 328 foreigners have also tested positive for COVID-19.
According to the district distribution of COVID-19 patients published by the Epidemiology Unit, 108,572 persons from Colombo, 90,532 persons from Gampaha, 49,825 persons from Kalutara, 29,734 persons from Galle, and 24,243 persons from Kurunegala have tested positive for COVID-19.
During the third wave of the pandemic, 76,275 patients from Colombo, 71,998 patients from Gampaha, and 42,767 patients from Kalutara have been detected.
At present, 60,906 persons are under medical or home-based care and 2,403 persons suspected of having COVID-19 are under observation.
Pharmaceutical Production, Supply and Regulation State Minister Channa Jayasumana said in Parliament yesterday that there is no longer a need to import oxygen from India as there is a drop in usage.
“The maximum oxygen requirement was on 24 August, when 134 tonnes of oxygen were used. On Monday, only 64 tonnes of oxygen were required,” he said.
According to Jayasumana, the number of patients requiring oxygen has dropped from 1,040 to 535.
“Patients under ICU care have dropped by 15% and of 39,000 hospital beds, only 16,000 are occupied,” he went on to say.
The Epidemiology Unit states that Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 recoveries rose to 434,140 with 1,047 persons leaving treatment centres yesterday.
Meanwhile, Health Services Director General Dr. Asela Gunawardena said recommendations on the reopening of primary grades in schools with less than 200 students were handed over to the Education Ministry yesterday.
“The reopening of schools will be carried out by the Education Ministry. They requested from us recommendations for the reopening of the primary section, which is below Grade 5, in schools with less than 200 students,” he said.
According to Dr. Gunawardena, primary school children will not be vaccinated but schools must reopen. This will be done gradually, starting with primary grades in schools with less than 200 students, other grades in schools with less than 200 students and so on.
However, it is the Education Ministry that will decide on the timeline.