Thirteen new COVID-19 patients were confirmed today bringing the total number of cases in the country to 323 as the Heath authorities put more restrictions in place closing all barber shops and salons and limiting the number of passengers travelling in taxis and three wheelers.
The decision to close barber shops and salons came after a barber from the Bandaranayakapura area was confirmed as COVID -19 positive today.
Police also introduced new safety measures to be adopted by vendors who provide mobile services to the public making it mandatory for them to wear masks and gloves while selling goods.
The new measures were introduced after the country recorded a steep rise in the number of cases with close to 50 new cases detected in the last two days.
Director General of Health Services (DGHS) Dr.Anil Jasinghe said of the 13 new patients identified today, 11 were from the Punani quarantine center and they were sent to the Kathankudy Medical facility which has been set up to treat persons infected with the coronavirus. The other confirmed patient was under treatment at the Polonnaruwa Hospital.
The other patient is from Suduwella, Ja-Ela who was at the Oluvil, quarantine centre.
Dr. Jasinghe said that the Health authorities have increased the number of PCR tests being carried out taking samples of 530 person from the Peliyagoda Fish Market today after a fish vendor man who had visited there was confirmed as COVID-19 positive on Tuesday.
The fish vendor is a resident of Piliyandala
Sixty-two others from a private nursing home in the Pannipitiya area who were believed exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 patient were tested and their tests have come came back negative, Dr. Jasinghe said.
More samples were also taken today from residents the Bandaranayakapura area in Colombo -12 from where hundreds have been sent to quarantine centers and others placed under strict lockdown.
Dr.Jasinghe said that while the curfew has been relaxed in some areas, it is vital that people follow social distancing and make sure they practice personal hygiene at the highest level.