- Over 23,000 COVID-19 cases identified to date, 6,309 active cases
- Gradual decrease in patients identified through rapid antigen tests: Chief Epidemiologist
- Over 1,100 cases identified from prisons
- Awareness campaign on COVID-19 safety measures kicks off today: Health Min.
By Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya
The Divulapitiya and Peliyagoda dual COVID-19 cluster yesterday exceeded 20,000 cases with the detection of 503 COVID-19 positive persons.
According to the Department of Government Information, 496 associates of the Peliyagoda COVID-19 cluster tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the cluster total to 20,442.
Over 13,000 COVID-19 cases were identified in November alone, mainly from the dual cluster. The situation report published by the Epidemiology Unit on 1 November records 20 COVID-19 deaths and a total of 96 deaths occurred during the month. Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 recoveries has risen from 4,905 on 1 November to 17,560 yesterday.
According to the Epidemiology Unit, the total number of COVID-19 cases identified in the island is 23,987. In addition to the Divulapitiya and Peliyagoda dual cluster, the total count includes 1,507 Sri Lankan returnees from abroad, 950 Navy personnel and close contacts, 651 persons connected to the Kandakadu cluster, and 118 foreigners.
The country’s active case count currently stands at 6,309. This includes 621 persons at the Punani Treatment Centre, 460 persons at the Bingiriya Treatment Centre, 323 persons at the Gallela Treatment Centre, and 315 persons at the Neville Fernando Hospital. Hospitals are also monitoring 545 persons suspected of having COVID-19.
The Epidemiology Unit adds that the country’s COVID-19 recoveries yesterday rose to 17,560 with hospitals discharging 558. This includes 81 persons from the Ampara Rehabilitation Centre, 55 persons from the Ichchilampattu Hospital, 53 persons from the Punani Treatment Centre, and 51 persons from the Gallela Treatment Centre.
In addition to this, the number of PCR tests carried out in the country is 827,928. According to the Health Promotion Bureau, 12,031 tests were carried out on Sunday.
“A trend we saw during the past few days was a gradual decrease of patients identified through rapid antigen tests. When carrying out PCR tests, there is a decrease in the virus load. This means that there is some control over the emergence of new patients,” Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Sudath Samaraweera said.
According to the National Operations Centre for the Prevention of the COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO), 5,537 persons are currently undergoing quarantine at 54 centres. This includes overseas arrivals. The NOCPCO added that 275 persons from Korea, 53 persons from Japan, 21 persons from Qatar, and one person from India arrived in the island yesterday morning, with three persons from Pakistan expected later in the day.
Meanwhile, the situation report published yesterday by the Epidemiology Unit, in its district distribution of total COVID-19 cases, shows 8,954 cases from the Colombo District, 5,865 cases from the Gampaha District, 1,021 cases from the Kalutara District, 374 cases from the Kandy District, and 320 cases from the Kurunegala District.
Of the 496 cases identified on Sunday, 167 were identified from the Colombo District. This includes 78 from the Colombo Municipal area, 44 from Aluthkade, and 14 from Grandpass. While 56 cases were identified from the Gampaha District, 17 of them were detected in Wattala, 10 in Kelaniya, and nine in Hunupitiya.
The district distribution of Sunday’s cases also includes 53 cases from Puttalam, nine from Kurunegala, eight from Ratnapura, and eight from Kalutara.
Several areas in the island remain isolated due to the detection of high numbers of COVID-19 cases. This includes 10 Police jurisdictions, five Grama Sevaka Divisions and two housing schemes in the Colombo District, three Police jurisdictions in the Gampaha District, and three Grama Sevaka Divisions in the Kalutara District. Five Grama Sevaka Divisions in the Puttalam District and two Grama Sevaka Divisions in the Kandy District are also isolated.
Akkaraipattu in the Ampara District which was isolated by Local Authorities was yesterday declared a health high-risk zone.
In addition to this, there is an increase of COVID-19 cases identified from prisons. A total of 1,193 persons from prisons have tested positive for the virus to date, including 443 from the Welikada Prison, 207 from the Mahara Prison, 188 from the Colombo Remand Prison, and 175 from the Old Bogambara Prison.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry yesterday stated that the second phase of a public awareness campaign by the Health Ministry, Sri Lanka Police, and National Youth Services Council was launched today and will be carried out until Thursday.
The first phase, which was carried out in October, targeted buses and public spaces. The second phase involves pasting stickers with safety guidelines on three-wheelers and will kick off at Galle Face at 10 a.m. today.
The project will be carried out in the Western, Uva and Southern Provinces today, the Sabaragamuwa, North Western and Northern Provinces tomorrow, and the North Central, Central and Eastern Provinces on Thursday. The awareness program will be carried out in areas currently isolated on a later date.
The stickers are printed in Sinhala and Tamil under the ‘Meetare Jeewithe’ theme. While the project received the support of the World Health Organization as well as financial assistance from the Government Medical Officers’ Association, the four types of stickers will each focus on distancing, breathing etiquette, hygiene, and correct wearing of a face mask.