- Total patient count rises to 284,932, includes 181,847 patients from the New Year cluster
- 12,477 PCR tests carried out yesterday
- Spread of Delta variant may be inevitable, health authorities warn
- Measures taken to prevent spread of Lambda and Epsilon variants as well
By Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya
Health officials stated that 1,420 COVID-19 positive persons were detected yesterday, raising the country’s total COVID-19 detections to 284,932.
According to the Health Promotion Bureau, 12,477 PCR tests were carried out yesterday.
The detections include 1,402 persons from the New Year cluster, expanding the Divulapitiya, Peliyagoda, Prisons and New Year clusters to 276,730.
The cumulative patient count includes 181,847 patients from the New Year cluster, 82,785 patients from the Peliyagoda cluster, 7,627 patients from the Prisons cluster, and 3,059 patients from the Divulapitiya cluster.
At present, it is the New Year and Prisons clusters that are active, with 1,433 patients from the New Year cluster and 14 patients from the Prisons cluster detected on Saturday.
In addition to this, five Sri Lankan returnees from overseas also tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, raising the total number of patients detected among Sri Lankan returnees from overseas to 5,952 and foreigners to 328.The Health Promotion Bureau states that 13,288 PCR tests and 4,035 rapid antigen tests were carried out on Saturday.
On Saturday, 1,452 COVID-19 patients were detected. This includes 322 persons from Colombo, 203 persons from Gampaha, and 175 persons from Kalutara.
During the third wave of the pandemic, 33,241 persons from Colombo, 31,722 persons from Gampaha, 24,058 persons from Kalutara, 11,521 persons from Kurunegala, and 10,396 persons from Galle have tested positive for COVID-19.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka, 65,538 persons from Colombo, 50,256 persons from Gampaha, 31,116 persons from Kalutara, 14,742 persons from Kurunegala, and 13,949 persons from Kandy have tested positive for COVID-19.
At present, 24,523 persons are under medical care and hospitals have 1,155 persons suspected of having COVID-19 under observation.
The Epidemiology Unit states that hospitals on Sunday discharged 843 persons, raising the country’s COVID-19 recoveries to 256,676.
Meanwhile, health authorities have warned of a spread of the Delta COVID-19 variant, which was first documented in India in October 2020.
“Close to 35 persons with the Delta variant have been detected in the island. Even though only 35 have been detected, specialists, who expressed their views on the matter in the past few days, say that ten people can contract the disease from one patient. By this estimation, they warn that there could be 250 to 300 patients in Sri Lanka,” Public Health Inspectors Union President Upul Rohana said.
He went on to say that the drop in daily COVID-19 detections was artificial and that a more accurate picture of the situation in the country was illustrated by the daily COVID-19 deaths.
“The Delta variant is becoming the dominant variant across the globe. I doubt Sri Lanka can escape this. We must thus expect that the Delta variant will spread in the country,” Pharmaceutical Production, Supply and Regulation State Minister Prof. Channa Jayasumana said.
He added that the Health Ministry has also taken measures to prevent the spread of the Lambda and Epsilon variants that are currently spreading in other countries.
Lambda is a World Health Organization (WHO) Variant of Interest that originated in Peru and Epsilon, a former Variant of Interest, originated in California, USA.