740 persons test positive for COVID-19; 759 delayed cases added to total

Wednesday, 24 November 2021 00:15 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Total patient count rises to 558,860
  • 17,150 persons under medical or home-based care
  • Health officials warn of lockdown towards the end of the year
  • Urges public to avoid crowds
  • However, approval granted for limited spectators at LPL 2021 and ongoing SL v WI Test series

By Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya

Over 700 COVID-19 cases were added to the country’s total detections following verification and health officials state that 740 persons tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday.

The country’s COVID-19 detections have thus risen to 558,860.

The Epidemiology Unit states that 759 COVID-19 cases detected between 5 and 11 November were added to the total after verification.

The COVID-19 patients detected yesterday were from the New Year cluster and, the previous day, 735 persons from the New Year cluster tested positive for COVID-19.

A total of 454,014 persons from the New Year cluster have been detected and the country’s local COVID-19 cases include 82,785 persons from the Peliyagoda cluster, 9,053 persons form the Prisons cluster, and 3,059 persons from the Divulapitiya cluster.

The country’s imported cases include 6,967 Sri Lankans and 328 foreigners. The district distribution of COVID-19 cases shows 114,532 persons form Colombo, 97,808 persons from Gampaha, 52,708 persons from Kalutara, 34,995 persons from Galle, and 27,089 persons from Kurunegala.

During the third wave of the pandemic, 82,235 persons from Colombo, 79,274 persons from Gampaha, and 45,650 persons from Kalutara tested positive for COVID-19.

At present, 17,150 persons are under medical or home-based care and 2,657 persons suspected of having COVID-19 are under observation.

The Epidemiology Unit states that 418 persons were released from care yesterday, raising the country’s COVID-19 recoveries to 527,528.

Health officials have expressed concerns over the increase in COVID-19 detections and Deputy Director of Health Services Dr. Hemantha Herath yesterday said: “If a lockdown is enforced during the festive season, especially towards the end of the year, I do not believe it will come as a surprise.”

He stressed that the public should avoid crowded places.

Despite this, Youth and Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa yesterday said on Twitter that Health Ministry approval had been granted for a limited crowd at the Lanka Premier League 2021, which is currently taking place.

“Cricket is nothing without the fans! As an avid cricket fan myself, I am happy and grateful to announce that the [Health Ministry] has granted approval for limited crowds to attend the #LPL2021 after considering the strict guidelines put in place by the [Youth and Sports Ministry],” the Minister tweeted.

Rajapaksa added: “This approval includes permission for limited crowds at the ongoing Test series as well!”

The Test series between Sri Lanka and West Indies will be open to 50% of the capacity of the Galle International Cricket Stadium but will be limited to persons who are fully vaccinated.