Sri Lanka has reported the first community Covid-19 case after a gap of two months, prompting authorities to impose a curfew in few areas, re-impose health guidelines and close schools across the island-nation, it was reported on Monday.
Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said the infected person was a 39-year-old apparel factory worker from Divulapitiya town in Gampaha district, reports the Daily Financial Times newspaper.
The case was identified on Sunday through random testing of samples from main hospitals. The patient’s 16-year-old daughter has also tested positive.
“We were able to identify this patient because all main hospitals have been advised to collect 10 samples for PCR tests everyday. So all main hospitals will collect at least 10 samples of patients displaying symptoms,” the Minister said in a statement.
“The individual’s sample was tested at three other places before we determined that she had the virus,” she added.
According to Chief Epidemiologist Sudath Samaraweera, the individual experienced symptoms of fever, following which she visited a healthcare centre in the area on September 28.
She was admitted to the Gampaha Hospital two days later, where her sample was sent for PCR testing.
When her test came back positive, she was transferred to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) for further treatment.
“The next step in such a situation is to identify her contacts,” the Daily Financial Times quoted Samaraweera as saying.
All contacts will be required to quarantine and subjected to PCR tests, he added.
Following the development, a curfew has been imposed indefinitely in the Divulapitiya, Minuwangoda and Veyangoda areas.
DGI Ajith Rohana said that curfew violators could face fines and imprisonment, adding that essential services will operate in these areas.
All Sri Lanka Army, Navy, Air Force, and Civil Security Department officers, as well as from Sri Lanka Ports Authority, in the Minuwangoda and Divulapitiya areas have been asked not to report for duty until informed.
While all schools across the island nation were ordered to close until further notice, safety guidelines were re-imposed by the Health Ministry to control the spread of Covid-19.
Sri Lanka has so far reported 3,402 Covid-19 cases and 13 deaths.