1,487 more test positive for COVID-19

Tuesday, 20 July 2021 01:19 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Health authorities refute claims 30% of Colombo COVID-19 patients have Delta variant
  • Add that increase in patients apparent with relaxation of travel restrictions
  • Total patient count rises to 286,419
  • Includes 183,238 persons from New Year cluster
  • 12,039 PCR tests performed yesterday 

By Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya

Health authorities yesterday rubbished reports stating that 20-30% of the COVID-19 patients in Colombo District had contracted the Delta variant but did concede that COVID-19 detections had increased with the relaxation of travel restrictions.

According to Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Ruwan Wijayamuni, 30% of COVID-19 patients detected from Aramaya Road and Albion Road in Dematagoda had contracted the Delta variant, which originated in India.

“However, this sample is insufficient to conclude that 30% of patients detected in Colombo have the Delta variant,” he added.

However, National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) Physician Dr. Upul Dissanayake said there were currently 200 COVID-19 patients receiving treatment at the hospital, whereas the number was only 100 two weeks ago – when travel restrictions were still in place.

He added that 50% of the active patients at the NHSL require supplemental oxygen.

At present, 20,792 persons are under medical care at various COVID-19 treatment centres and 1,018 persons suspected of having COVID-19 are under observation.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 detections rose to 286,419 with 1,487 persons testing positive for COVID-19 yesterday.

The Health Promotion Bureau stated that 12,039 PCR tests were carried out yesterday. The COVID-19 patients detected yesterday included 1,464 persons from the New Year cluster.

The Divulapitiya, Peliyagoda, Prisons, and New Year clusters have thus expanded to 278,194 patients. The cumulative patient count consists of 183,238 persons from the New Year cluster, 82,785 persons from the Peliyagoda cluster, 7,638 persons from the Prisons cluster, and 3,059 persons from the Divulapitiya cluster.

This includes the 1,420 COVID-19 patients detected on Sunday, of which 1,391 were from the New Year cluster, 18 were Sri Lankan returnees from overseas, and 11 were from the Prisons cluster.

In total, 5,970 Sri Lankan overseas arrivals and 328 foreigners have tested positive for COVID-19.

The district distribution of COVID-19 patients includes 65,851 persons from Colombo, 50,489 persons from Gampaha, 31,255 persons from Kalutara, 14,769 persons from Kurunegala, and 13,975 persons from Kandy.

During the third wave alone, 33,554 persons from Colombo, 31,955 persons from Gampaha, and 24,197 persons from Kalutara have tested positive for COVID-19.

The district distribution takes into account the patients detected on Sunday, of which 256 were from Colombo, 169 were from Gampaha, and 151 were from Kalutara.

According to the Health Promotion Bureau, 12,477 PCR tests and 4,020 rapid antigen tests were carried out on Sunday.

Hospitals yesterday discharged 972 persons, raising the country’s COVID-19 recoveries to 261,848.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Police yesterday clarified that inter-provincial travel restrictions applied to weddings and funerals unless under specific circumstances. According to Police Spokesperson Senior DIG Ajith Rohana, inter-provincial travel would only be permitted in the event of the funeral of an immediate family member.

With regard to weddings, inter-provincial travel would be permitted for the bride or groom and their parents only if one party lived in a different province.

“At 13 entry/exit points from the Western Province, 293 persons in 139 vehicles were sent back as they were trying to cross provincial borders,” DIG Ajith Rohana said.


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