All Navy personnel attached to the Welisara Navy Camp, and on leave, have been requested to return to Base to undergo Polymerase Chain Reaction ( PCR) testing, following 30 of their colleagues testing positive for the Corona virus, Army Commander Shavendra Silva announced.
Navy personnel attached to the Welisara Camp had been tested for the virus soon after a sailor had tested positive on April 22. This sailor had been home on leave in Polonnaruwa and had sought treatment at the Welikanda Hospital.
According to the Commander, the first sailor to test positive had been infected by another attached to the same camp. It has been determined that the second sailor had contracted the disease when he and other Navy personnel had gone to Suduwella in search of suspected patients, alleged drug addicts, who had run away when asked to report for quarantine.
While the Barracks the sailor occupied and the office he worked in had been sealed off, all personnel working at the Base are being tested for the virus.
With these 30 patients, the total number of COVID-19 positive patients now stands at 368.
The second sailor to have tested positive is reported to be from the Wariyapola area. Counterpoint learns that several police officers too have been quarantined as the sailor is said to have visited the Wariyapola police station.
PCR testing of residents in the locality of Bandaranayaka Mawatha in Colombo 12 has shown that more than 65 have been infected by the virus. Patients have been found from all of the lanes in the Bandaranayake Mawatha locality, which is a congested and underserved area in the city. The first patient to have tested positive in this locality was a 59 year old woman who, according to Dr. Anil Jasinghe, the Director of Health Services, had returned from India in early March. However, she had been tested for the virus only a few days ago. It is unclear how the virus has spread within the locality.
With a fish vendor from Piliyandala testing positive, the Peliyagoda Fish Market was closed, and samples of 530 individuals working at the market had been taken for testing. The police also issued strict preventative measures to be followed by all mobile delivery agents, in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus to the community. Failure to observe the guidelines would result in the cancellation of the curfew pass, Police warned.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry announced that with the assistance of the private sector hospitals, it would be increasing the PCR testing from 800 to 1000 daily.
Health Promotion Bureau statistics show while 173 persons are currently in hospitals and under investigation, a total of 107 have recovered and have been discharged.