Kandakadu cluster under control – Dr. Jasinghe | Sunday Observer

Kandakadu cluster under control – Dr. Jasinghe

When a prison inmate from the Welikada prison was tested positive for Covid-19 on July 7 medical professionals and the public alike raised concerns whether a second wave of the killer disease had broken out in the country and a community spread of the disease was imminent.

The public were alarmed when on July 10, Sri Lanka recorded the highest number of cases within a day as 300 positive patients were identified. All of them according to the health officials belonged to the new Covid-19 cluster originating from Kandakadu.

But according to the Director General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe, the new Covid-19 cluster identified within the Kandakadu Rehabilitation Centre to which the inmate was traced is now under control.

Close contacts

To date 550 Covid-19 positive patients have been confirmed from the Kandakadu Treatment and Rehabilitation Center cluster. Of these 444 are inmates of the center, 64 others are staff while 42 are close contacts of either inmates or members of staff.

However, according to Dr. Jasinghe no other patients from the community in any other area of the country than those belonging to the Kandakadu cluster has been reported.

Health authorities have completed nearly 6,000 PCR tests on those connected to the Kandakadu cluster Dr. Jasinghe confirmed adding that health authorities are taking steps to control the most recent outbreak of Covid-19 at the Kandakadu center. As further precaution officials have also carried out PCR tests at all locations where close contacts of the Kandakadu cluster were traced to. According to Dr. Jasinghe, health authorities only found a significant cluster in Rajanganaya where 19 patients have since tested positive for the virus.?

The Rajanganaya cluster was reported after a counsellor working at the Centre a resident in the area, had tested positive. Not only his family members but several of his close associates were tested positive later. The counsellor had visited a funeral and alms-giving in the area, causing concern among health officials of a further spread of the disease.

At a media briefing this week ?Dr. Jasinghe said had the people who attended the funeral and alms-giving in Rajanganaya, which was visited by a Covid-19 patient, followed health guidelines the present situation in the area could have been avoided.


“This is why movement had to be restricted in the area, resident to around 1,200 persons” he said. Accordingly movement in track 1, 3 and 5 in Rajanganaya have been restricted to contain the virus.

According to Dr. Jasinghe, the few cases confirmed in other areas are direct contacts of staff members at the rehabilitation centre who tested positive for the virus.

Dr. Jasinghe also revealed that at the time of discovery nearly 75 percent of the inmates of Kandakadu had already contracted the virus. He said he believes therefore, the new cluster unlike the largest cluster found in Sri Lanka, the Navy cluster will continue for a lengthier period. He said it is likely that more inmates will test positive in the coming days. He also said it is likely that more positive cases from the Senapura rehabilitation center will also be reported similarly.

Staff members

?Dr. Anil Jasinghe also called upon the public not to misunderstand a move by the authorities to recall staff members, inmates as well those who were transferred from Welikada to other places. He stressed, not all those who are recalled are Covid patients, and a person is tested positive only after a PCR test is carried out.

Since the first report of the presence of Covid-19 in Sri Lanka early this year, the country has reported 2,697 cases. The authorities have carried out nearly 132, 796 PCR tests while 23, 286 persons have completed quarantine.

Six hundred and seventy four Covid positive patients are receiving treatment at hospitals across the country while 2,021 have recovered and have been discharged.