COVID-19 cases surpass 26,000 in Sri Lanka

Coronavirus - COVID-19

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Sri Lanka rose to 26,038 on Friday with over 600 new infections detected in the past 24 hours, data from the Health Ministry showed.

Of the coronavirus infections reported since the outbreak in March in the Asian country, 19,032 patients recovered and were discharged from hospitals, bringing the number of active cases down to 6,877, the ministry said.

The death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic rose to 129 on Friday, including five newly reported deaths.

Sri Lanka has been in a second wave of COVID-19 since two infection clusters were detected on the outskirts of and in the national capital Colombo in early October.

Police said parts of Colombo remained under isolation over a large number of local infections and to prevent a further spread of the coronavirus.

Director General of Health Services Asela Gunawardena told Xinhua that the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases was declining slightly, and the authorities have been conducting tests nationwide to identify any undetected clusters.

The health official urged people to remain vigilant and avoid leaving their home unless necessary.

The Sri Lankan government has made it a law to wear face masks and maintain social distance and anyone defying these rules will be fined and face a 6-month prison term.

Schools in several areas including the Western Province considered a hotspot of the virus outbreak have remained closed since October.