Two deaths reported as Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 count reaches 21,469

Several areas in Kandy, Kalutara placed under isolation, 45 schools closed in Kandy

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COLOMBO – Sri Lanka recorded two more COVID-19 related fatalities) as novel coronavirus tally increased to 21,469 with 502 new cases confirmed on Wednesday (5), and authorities placed a number of areas in the Kalutara and Kandy districts under isolation orders.

The Department of Government Information in a statement announcing the deaths identified the deceased as a 45-year-old female from Colombo 12, and an 80-year-old male from the Pannipitya area. The female had died at the Colombo National Hospital from a COVID-19 related cardiac arrest, while the male had been transferred from the Sri Jayawardenepura Hospital to the Pimbura Base Hospital upon being confirmed as COVID-19 positive. The cause of death was determined to be  liver disease aggravated  by COVID-19 infection.

The statement said Director General of Health Services, Dr. Asela Gunawardena, had confirmed both deaths to be COVID-19 related, taking the COVID fatality count to 96.

Eighty three deaths have now been officially recorded since October 24, and the emergence of a new and more virulent strain of the virus in a new cluster in Minuwangoda, with the apparel factory in the area as the epicentre earlier in the month.  Since then the cluster has seen sub-clusters in several parts of the country, with the largest case load reported from the Peliyagoda fish market. As of Wednesday, the Minuwangoda/Peliyagoda cluster had recorded 17,938 cases with the 502 cases confirmed during the course of the day.

According to the Department of Government Information daily update, all of Wednesday confirmations are linked to the Peliyagoda cluster and take Sri Lanka’s novel coronavirus count to 21,469 with 15,447 being deemed recovered and discharged under the new health ministry guidelines, and 5,928 receiving treatment at various designated hospitals across the country.

Among those diagnosed as COVID-19 positive is the former director of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Shani Abeysekara, who is reported to have contracted the virus while in remand custody.

Abeysekera was arrested by the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) in July on charges of fabricating evidence in connection to a case filed on the arrest of former Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Vass Gunawardena.

Meanwhile, the National Operations Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) announced on Wednesday that three Grama Niladari Divisions in the Bandaragama police area in the Kalutura district  and two Grama Niladari Divisions in the Alawathugoda police area in have Kandy district) have been isolated with immediate effect until further notice.

The isolated areas in the Bandaragama police division include -Atalugama East Grama Niladari Division, -Epitamulla Grama Niladari Division and -Kolamediriya Grama Niladari Division.

Areas isolation in the Alawathugoda police division are  Bulugahatenna Grama Niladari Division and Thelambugahawatta Grama Niladari Division

NOCPCO also announced that the isolation orders on the Kirimanthudawa Grama Niladari Division in the Bandaragama police area in the Kalutara district had been lifted.

Meanwhile, 45 schools within the Kandy city limits are slated to be closed from Thursday (26), following the detection of several COVID-19 positive cases. Central Province Governor Lalith U. Gamage has said the schools, which reopened for the third term on Monday (23), will remain closed until December 4.

-ENCL

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