Sri Lanka reports over 600 COVID-19 cases


A labourer wearing a facemask carries a basket of bananas at a vegetable market during a nationwide curfew imposed as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Colombo on April 30, 2020. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP via Getty Images)
A labourer wearing a facemask carries a basket of bananas at a vegetable market during a nationwide curfew imposed as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Colombo on April 30, 2020. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP via Getty Images)

SRI LANKA has reported over 600 COVID-19 cases in the country. The island nation has confirmed seven deaths due to the disease so far. The ministry of health said that 12 more persons have tested positive for the virus on Wednesday (29), bringing the total cases to 611.

Sri Lanka saw the highest daily surge in confirmed COVID-19 cases on Monday (27) with 65 new infections. According to the epidemiology unit’s tally, 470 active cases of coronavirus are currently under medical care at various hospitals.

“We have taken all necessary steps and precautions in order to contain the virus,” said Dr Anil Jasinghe, the director general of health services. Jasinghe said the health personnel and national intelligence personnel are tracing the immediate contacts of the Sri Lanka Navy infected cluster.

Some 226 sailors have been infected with the novel coronavirus. Some 147 sailors from the Navy’s Welisara detachment were infected after they had conducted an operation to send drug addicts to quarantine on suspicion of being infected. Another group of sailors had been infected after they went home on leave.

This forced the government to cancel the leave of all security forces personnel to contain the spread of coronavirus. Defense Ministry secretary Kamal Gunaratne appealed to the public not to ostracise Naval personnel following complaints that sailors and their immediate families had been subject to condemnation.

Sri Lanka has been under a 24-hour curfew since March 20 to combat the deadly viral infection. However, there has been intermittent lifting of the curfew in selected areas which were not seen as dangerous for the spread of the deadly virus.

Recently, the country registered a steep fall in foreign tourist arrivals in the first quarter of 2020.