Sri Lanka shuts navy camp after confirming 30 Covid-19 infections

Navy personnel had been infected with virus while recently searching for suspected patients, says Army Commander Silva

Xinhua April 24, 2020
COLOMBO: A navy camp on the outskirts of Sri Lanka's capital Colombo was declared as an isolated zone after 30 navy personnel tested positive for Covid-19, raising the country's total cases to 373, Army Commander Shavendra Silva said on Friday.

Silva said the navy personnel had been infected with the virus while recently searching for suspected patients from Suduwella, Ja-Ela, which is also located on the outskirts of the capital, while the suspected patients were evading quarantine.

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The navy personnel were subjected to PCR testing after a navy officer fell ill, after which 30 navy personnel were detected with the virus.

Silva said all navy personnel at the Welisara Navy camp will now undergo PCR tests and the camp will be closed.

Sri Lanka's Health Ministry said that out of the total number of 373 patients detected with the virus in the country to date, 107 have recovered and been discharged. Seven deaths have been reported and 259 patients are under medical observation in the designated hospitals with suspected symptoms.

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A curfew remains in place in Colombo and its suburban Gampaha and Kalutara, and Puttalam in the northwestern province due to a rising number of cases from these areas in recent days.

The police have urged people to remain indoors and maintain social distancing while the government has encouraged a work-from-home policy.

Schools and universities across the country remain closed since last month.