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* Second batch of 208 quarantined at Poonani and Kandakadu centers to leave home tomorrow
Tue, Mar 24, 2020, 11:46 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 24, Colombo: A second batch of 208 individuals isolated for two weeks at Sri Lanka Army managed Poonani and Kandakadu quarantine centers will leave for home tomorrow (25) after completing the required period of isolation.

The head of the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO), Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva at the media briefing today said the first batch of 311 quarantined for two weeks left for their homes this morning.

The first batch of 108 from Kandakadu and 203 from Poonani centers had left for their homes in Matara, Kandy and Colombo areas in 11 buses, together with 6 trucks carrying their luggage.

Transport facilities for the quarantined individuals to return to their homes are provided by the Army.

Meanwhile, 17 persons detected from Jaffna district, suspicious of having contracted COVID-19 are now under quarantine in the specially set up quarantine center at Mailady in Jaffna.

According to Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, a total of 3,224 individuals, including 31 foreigners are still under quarantine in 47 Quarantine Centers.

At the briefing, Dr Paba Palihawadana, Deputy Director General of Health Services (Public Health Services) pointed out that general public en masse need not wear face masks, since this pandemic is not spreading that fast in Sri Lanka and only health officials and employees have been recommended the use of those face masks as at present.

"The Public will be informed of any such need for wearing masks only if any eventuality would arise. Techniques of wearing the mask, its proper use and its removal should be done with careful precision and it would be difficult for an ordinary individual to use it. Improper use of the mask by touching it sometimes could lead to contamination of COVID-19 infection," Dr. Palihawadana warned.

Dr Anil Jasinghe, Director General of Health Services revealed that 4 more positive cases had also been reported today, three arrived from Italy and another one from the US. He said the majority of the positive cases, detected in Sri Lanka are those arriving from foreign lands.

He said the government has declared Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara Districts as high risk zones because the majority of the 102 positive cases so far detected were from those districts. So far, 10 patients from Gampaha District, 21 from Colombo District and 13 from Kalutara District have been confirmed infected.

“Whether curfew is in force in those areas or not, it is essential for the public in those districts to keep social distancing in order to arrest further transmission of the disease," Dr Jasinghe urged the public.


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