Govt to decide on isolation | Sunday Observer
Sudden spike in Covid-19 in five districts

Govt to decide on isolation

25 October, 2020
Several new suburbs were added to the new curfew areas list as the new Covid-19 wave intensified this week. Here some random PCR tests being conducted at Gunasinghepura, Colombo.   Pic: Eranga Jayawardena
Several new suburbs were added to the new curfew areas list as the new Covid-19 wave intensified this week. Here some random PCR tests being conducted at Gunasinghepura, Colombo. Pic: Eranga Jayawardena

The Government will decide whether to isolate five districts where the spread of Covid-19 has recorded a sudden spike, early next week, authoritative sources told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

Health Officials have observed a disturbing trend in the Gampaha, Colombo and Kalutara districts in the Western Province and Kurunegala and Kegalle districts, since last week in the number of Covid-19 positive cases. The Government Medical Officers’ Association said yesterday the Government shouldtake a firm decision to isolate the five Covid-19 hubs to contain the spread of the virus and ensure that it will not develop into community levels.

The number of Covid-19 patients is significantly high in the Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Kurunegala and Kegalle districts.

A 56-year-old Covid-19 patient died yesterday increasing the virus-related death toll to 15 as the country battles a few clusters of patients from different parts of the country.

Acting Director General, Health Services said the victim, a resident of Unaleeya in Kuliyapitiya, died while being treated at the ICUof the Kuliyapitiya Hospital. He was suffering from health complications related to heart disease and kidney disease. The patient was admitted to the hospital on October 14.

This comes two days after the death of a 50-year-old Covid-19 patient, also a resident of Kuliyapitiya undergoing treatment at the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH).

The highest number of Covid-19 patients in the country reached 865 on Friday (23). This increased the number of patients from the Divulapitiya and Peliyagoda clusters to over 3,400.

The Nugegoda weekly fair entered the list of other public gatherings forced to shut down due to Covid-19 yesterday.

This was after two persons working at the fish market tested positive. Police curfew was also imposed in Gothatuwa and Mulleriyawa police areas from 7pm yesterday until further notice.

The virus also crippled key hotel chains in the country after some employees tested positive. The management of Shangri-La Hotel said, “We were notified on October 23, 2020 that a member of our team had tested positive for Covid-19.

As the health and well-being of our guests and colleagues is of topmost priority and in view of the evolving situation in Sri Lanka, we recently commenced proactive testing of our staff. The affected colleague was asymptomatic and was identified as a result of proactive testing. The team member is now receiving medical assistance in hospital”.

Contact tracing is under way, the statement added, and employees who were in direct contact with the patient were told to self-isolate at home.

An employee of Hilton Colombo was also tested positive for Covid-19. A spokesman for both hotels said they have undertaken all health measures.

The Health Promotional Bureau shows the number of Covid-19 patients had increased to over 7,000 since the detection of the new clusters. Over 430,000 PCR tests have been performed across the island.

The Diyawadana Nilame of Sri Dalada Maligawa Pradeep Nilanga Dela called upon people living in areas under curfew and their close contacts to avoid visiting the temple.

In a press release he called upon people visiting the Sri Dalada Maligawa to enter its premises with their Identity Cards to ensure the safety of all. The temple has also increased precautionary measures to keep the raging virus at bay. As many new Covid-19 cases stemmed from fishing areas, the Health Minister directed the officials to compile health guidelines that should be followed at Fisheries Harbours. The guidelines will be given to the Harbours to be strictly implemented.

On Friday, Gulavita North and South, Wedawatte, Magurumaswila and Makalandawa in the Kalutara district were declared isolated zones till further notice. Quarantine curfew was imposed in Dematagoda and Maradana till further notice, and in Payagala, Beruwala and Aluthgama in Kalutara District till 5 am on Monday. Gampaha district remains under quarantine curfew. Earlier this week, GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge told the media that Covid-19 patients were reported from outside quarantine centres.

“The detection of Covid-19 positive patients from outside the centres mean they have come from the community,” he said.