This is a live blog about the latest COVID-19 to emerge in Sri Lanka, some two months after the last community transmission was successfully managed.
Monday, October 26
19:04 Two-hundred-and-eighty new COVID19 cases have been reported thus far today, bringing to 4,678 the total number of cases from the Minuwangoda and Peliyagoda Central Fish Market clusters.
Sunday, October 25
13:19 The government announces that curfew will be imposed on Borella, Welikada, Fort and Pettah police areas in Colombo from 6 PM this evening until further notice.
13:49 The National Operation Centre for the Prevention of COVID19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) says curfew that is currently imposed on the Gampaha district that was due to be lifted at 5 AM tomorrow, will continue indefinitely. Adds that all pharmacies and stores selling essential items will be open from between 8 AM and 10 PM.
13:57 The NOCPCO says both private and public banks will be operational in Gampaha tomorrow and that staff can use official ID to travel during curfew.
18:55 Curfew imposed on Payagala, Beruwala and Aluthgama that was due to be lifted at 5 AM tomorrow will continue indefinitely, the NOCPCO says.
Saturday, October 24
11:46 The 15th death as a result of COVID19 has been reported in Sri Lanka. The deceased is a 56-year-old male with pre-existing heart and kidney conditions, who was being treated at the ICU of the Kuliyapitiya Hospital.
17:17 The government says curfew will be imposed on Gothatuwa and Mulleriyawa in the Colombo district from 7 PM today until further notice.
18:38 Two-hundred-and-one COVID19 cases have been reported today: 37 are from within quarantine centres, 24 at fisheries harbours and 140 contacts of those at the Central Fish Market in Peliyagoda.
21:44 Government annouces curfew will be imposed with immediate effect on Maligawatte, Keselwatte, Dam Street, Aduruppu Veediya and Foreshore police areas until further notice.
22:25 Seventy-five more COVD19 cases have been recorded, making it 276 cases detected thus far today.
23:46 Ninty-two new COVID19 cases reported. This brings to 368 the number of cases detected today. All cases are contacts of those from the Minuwangoda cluster, or those from the Central Fish Market complex.
Friday, October 23
12:17 A 26-year-old COVID-19 patient — a resident of Wellampitiya which is under curfew — has escaped from the Kosgama Hospital where he was transferred to in the early hours of the morning.
13:31 The 26-year-old COVID-19 patient who escaped from the Kosgama Hospital in the early hours of the morning, was apprehended at the Sahaspura Housing Scheme in Borella.
18:21 Six-hundred-and-nine new COVID19 cases were reported today: 48 from quarantine centres, 496 from the Central Fish Market Complex in Peliyagoda, 20 from the Beruwala Harbour, 5 from the Galle Harbour and 40 other contacts.
21:47 Curfew has been declared on Maradana and Dematagoda in Colombo with immediate effect until further notice, and on Payagala, Beruwala and Althugama in the Kalutara district until 5 AM on Monday (26)
21:49 Gulavita North, Gulavita South, Wedawatte, Mugurumaswila and Makalandaava areas in the Walallawita Divisional Secretariat Division of the Kalutara district have been declared isolated.
22:24 Two-hundred-and-sixty-five new COVID19 cases have been recorded, bringing to 865 the total number of cases recorded today — the highest in a day since March 2020.
Thursday, October 22
07:45 Curfew has been imposed with immediate effect on the Modara, Mattakkuliya, Grandpass, Wellampitiya and Bloemendhal police areas in Colombo.
15:32 Fifty more people have tested positive for COVID19. This brings the total number of those affected in the Minuwangoda cluster to 2,558.
15:34 Government announces that curfew will be imposed on the Kotahena police area from 6 PM today until further notice.
22:29 Two-hundred-and-fifty-nine COVID19 cases recorded; 182 from the Central Fish Market Complex in Peliyagoda. This brings to 309 the number of cases reported thus far today and the number of cases from the Minuwangoda cluster to 2,817.
Wednesday, October 21
07:56 Police have temporarily closed the Fort Police Station after an officer there tested positive for COVID19 yesterday. The public has been asked to visit the Pettah or Slave Island police stations for their services instead.
09:59 The Fort Police Station that was temporarily closed last night after an officer tested positive for COVID19 has been re-opened to the public.
12:41 The Central Fish Market Complex in Peliyagoda has been temporarily closed after 49 people tested positive for COVID19.
13:30 Government announces curfew will be imposed on the entire Gampaha district from 10 PM today until 5 AM on Monday.
16:55 One-hundred-and-nine COVID19 cases have been reported: 37 are from within quarantine centres, 23 are close contacts and 49 are from the Peliyagoda fish market. The total number of cases from the Miniwangoda cluster is now 2,451.
20:20 Agalawatte, Gorakkgoda, Bergama, Dapiligoda and Kekulandara North in the Agalawatte Divisional Secretariat Division and Bellana in the Palindapura Divisional Secretariat Division have been declared isolated with immediate effect until further notice.
21:55 Fifty-seven more COVID19 cases have been recorded, bringing to 2,508 the total number of cases now in the Minuwangoda cluster.
Tuesday, October 20
14:34 Curfew has been imposed on Kuliyapitiya, Pannala, Giriulla, Narammala and Dummalasuriya police areas with immediate effect, until further notice
14:35 Sixty new COVID19 cases have been recorded today, bringing to 2,222 the total number of cases in the Minuwangoda cluster.
21:50 One-hundred-and-twenty new COVID19 cases recorded. The total number of cases in the Minuwangoda cluster is now 2,342.
Monday, October 19
13:30 Forty-seven new COVID19 cases have been reported. This brings the total number of cases in the Minuwangoda cluster thus far to 2,122.
19:21 Forty new COVID19 cases reported, bringing to 2,162 the number of cases in the Minuwangoda cluster.
Sunday, October 18
16:00 Twenty-two new COVID19 cases reported. The number of cases in the Minuwangoda cluster is now 2,036.
18:20 Three villages in Matugama in the Kalutara district of the Western province have been isolated. The villages are, Ovitigala, Badugama and Badugama Nawa Janapadaya.
18:35 Thirty-nine new COVID19 cases have been reported from the Minuwangoda cluster, bringing to 2,075 the number of cases reported from that cluster thus far.
Saturday, October 17
16:05 Seventy-three new COVID19 cases have been reported. This brings to 1,972 the total number of cases in the Minuwangoda cluster thus far.
19:05 Forty-two new COVID19 cases reported, bringing to 2,014 the total number of cases in the Minuwangoda cluster.
Friday, October 16
14:40 Sixty-one new COVID19 cases reported. The total number of cases from the Minuwangoda cluster is now 1,850.
19:00 Forty-nine new COVID19 cases have been reported. The number of cases in the Minuwangoda cluster is now 1,899.
Thursday, October 15
22:23 The Extraordinary Gazette setting out new regulations for the prevention of COVID19 has been issued.
19:00 Forty-nine new COVID19 cases have been reported. The number of cases in The Miniwangoda cluster reaches 1,899.
21:30 Nineteen new COVID19 cases were reported from the Minuwangoda cluster. The total number of cases associated with that cluster is now 1,789.
Wednesday, October 14
14:17 The Moratuwa branch of MediHelp, a private hospice which temporarily shut down after a patient tested positive for COVID19 on October 5, says all staff have tested negative for the virus, and that it is working to resume operations.
14:20 Seventeen new COVID19 cases have been reported from the Minuwangoda cluster.
19:55 One-hundred-and-thirteen new COVID19 cases were reported from the Minuwangoda cluster, bringing to 130 the number of cases from that cluster recorded today. The total number of cases from that cluster is now 1,721.
Tuesday, October 13
20:42 One-hundred-and-forty-five new COVID19 cases reported from the Minuwangoda cluster today, bringing the total number of cases from that cluster to 1,591.
13:41 Forty-nine new COVID19 cases have been reported from the Minuwangoda cluster today, the govt. says.
Monday, October 12
17:48 MediHelp, a private hospice, issued a statement notifying the public that a person who had visited their Moratuwa branch on October 5, had tested positive for COVID19.
15:09 National carrier SriLankan Airlines confirms that an employee at its Cargo Operations Division had tested positive. The airline said PCR tests were conducted on 50 other employees who had worked closely with the patient, and that they were awaiting results.
14:11 An employee of the National Development Bank (NDB) branch located at Marine Drive, Colombo 4 tested positive for COVID19, forcing the management to close its branch for disinfection today. The bank said all employees at the branch had been directed to self-quarantine under the directives of health authorities.
13:58 Thirty-nine more COVID19 cases have been reported from the Minuwangoda cluster.
Sunday, October 11
21:07 Sixty more COVID19 cases reported from the Minuwangoda cluster. The total number of those affected by the cluster is now 1,307.
19:26 Sixty-one new COVID19 cases reported from the Minuwangoda cluster, bringing to 1,247 the total number of those affected in that cluster.
17:54 Government announces it has declared Pattithottam and Periyakadei villages in Mannar isolated to contain COVID19.
Saturday, October 10
22:01 Two new COVID19 cases have been reported. The total number of cases reported today is now 105.
18:52 Three staffers at the Colombo National Hospital have tested positive for COVID19, forcing the hospital to temporarily close three wards and one operating theatre.
17:12 Army Commander and Head of the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) Lt. General Shavendra Silva asks all those who have come into contact with employees of the private apparel factory in Minuwangoda to ensure they get PCR tested.
13:19 An attendant at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children has tested positive for COVID19, a day after a ten-month-old child was detected with the virus.
Friday, October 9
22:04 Fourteen new COVID19 cases detected; one, an employee of the Minuwangoda apparel factory, the thirteen others close contacts of existing patients. Total cases from the cluster has now reached 1,083.
20:24 The Foreign Ministry announces it's Consular Affairs Division will close until further notice. Says only queries relating to attestation of Export Documents will be accepted on prior appointment on the number +94 (011)2338812.
19:20 A fifty-six-year-old resident of Katuwapitiya has tested positive for COVID19 while at a Negombo private hospital. The hospital has been temporarily closed for disinfection.
15:42 The Central Mail Exchange has decided to suspend all operations until October 17. Postal services in the Gampaha district have also been suspended till October 17.
15:17 The Minuwangoda Police station which was closed for disinfection yesterday after the son of the canteen owner attached to the station tested positive for the virus, has reopened.
14:21 The Education Ministry has decided to set up separate exam centres for Grade 5 Scholarship and Advanced Level examination students who are under quarantine.
14:07 The Bishop of Mannar, 16 other Catholic priests and 40 construction workers at the Bishop’s House have been directed to self-quarantine after a construction worker tested positive for COVID-19.
13:07 A 36-year-old from Chilaw who attended the Colombo Book Fair on Saturday, September 23, has tested positive for COVID-19. Police say he was also at the Colombo Central Bus Stand and had travelled to Nuwara Eliya the following week.
13:07 A 17-year-old from Adippala, Arachchikattuwa, Puttalam who visited Gampaha for tuition class, has tested positive for COVID-19.
12:58 The Department of Registration of Persons, which had suspended operation until October 9, extends the period of suspension to October 16.
12:29 A 38-year-old employee of another apparel factory in Minuwangoda tests positive for the virus.
11:14 The Department of Railways says special compartments in trains plying the Main Line will be assigned to students travelling to take the Grade 5 Scholarship and Advanced Level examinations.
06:36 Police announce that supermarkets, food distribution outlets, pharmacies, Sathosa stores etc. will be open until 8 PM today.
06:28 Army Commander and Head of the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) say it does not intend to impose a countrywide curfew or to lockdown the city of Colombo over the weekend.
Thursday, October 8
19:34 Government decides to temporarily suspend repatriation flights in order to manage the weight on existing quarantine and hospital facilities that are now geared to service patients from the newly detected cluster in the island.
18:14 Police arrest an 18-year-old for publishing fake news related to COVID-19 on social media. The offender has used the letterhead of the Presidential Secretariat and a new organisation to mislead the public.
17:43 Department of Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs issues health directives to be implemented at mosques.
16:42 The Minuwangoda Police Station has been closed after the canteen owner tested positive for COVID19. All police officers attached to the police station have been directed to self-quarantine and PCR tests are being conducted on them.
16:25 The Department of Registrar of Companies decides to suspend service. Directs all queries to its website.
15:58 The management of St. Bridget’s Convent, a leading girls’ school in Colombo, issues a statement confirming that a student has tested positive for the virus.
14:26 The International College of Business and Technology (ICBT), a private university in Colombo issues a statement saying a student at the campus has tested positive for COVID19.
13:29 The canteen owner at the Minuwangoda Police Station tests positive for COVID19. Police say the necessary precautions are being taken.
12:35 A family member of an employee of the Parliamentary Services Unit (PSU) has contracted COVID19. PCR tests have been carried out on all family members as well as on other employees of the PSU as a precautionary measure, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene tells Parliament.
He said that PCR tests have been conducted on the individual and all members of his office in Pelawatte, Battaramulla as a precautionary measure.
11:08 The Railway Department has decided to suspend a number of train services.
10:32 An expectant-mother tests positive for COVID10 while at the Castle Hospital for Women in Colombo.
10:07 Inland Revenue Department announces it has suspended services until further notice. Directs queries to its website.
Wednesday, October 7
21:32 Hospitality conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC issues a statement informing the public that an employee has been exposed to COVID19 and that the company is following standard procedures together with health officials.
19:50 Five more Minuwangoda apparel factory employees, and a close contact of an employee test positive for COVID19.
18:39 Brandix Sri Lanka Ltd. issues second statement in response to rumours that the COVID19 outbreak at its Minuwangoda factory was the result of Indian employees brought down to help with work over-capacity, and allegations that these workers had not fulfilled quarantine requirements.
17:59 Chief Epidemiologist of the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health says employees at the privately-owned apparel factory had displayed symptoms of respiratory infections from around September 20 and that it would, therefore, be difficult to ascertain the original source of the virus.
17:24 Six more people have tested positive for COVID19: Four are Minuwangoda apparel factory employees. One is attached to an apparel factory belonging to the same company in Welisara, also in the Gampaha district and one a cleaner attached to the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA).
17:23 St. Joseph’s College Colombo issues a statement confirming that a parent of a student has tested positive for COVID19.
16:25 Governors of the Central and Eastern provinces order all tuition classes suspended until further notice.
17:07 The 62-year-old COVID19 patient who walked out of the Ragama Hospital has been apprehended by Police.
15:23 All employees of the Minuwangoda apparel factory have been asked by the Police to report to 14 specific locations before 4 PM.
14:40 The Ministry of Education says that the Grade 5 Scholarship Examination and the Advanced Level Examination will be held as scheduled on October 10 and between October 12 and November 06.
13:54 One-hundred-and-ninety Minuwangoda apparel factory workers test positive for COVID19. The total number of those affected by this cluster is now 1,022, surpassing the previously largest Navy cluster which affected 951 Naval officers.
12:50 Police curfew has been imposed with immediate effect on 18 police areas:
12:44 Police seek public assistance to locate a 62-year-old COVID-19 patient who has walked out of the Ragama Hospital. Details here.
11:46 The Royal Golf Club in Colombo issues a statement announcing its temporary closure after the daughter of a gardener attached to the club tested positive for the virus.
Tuesday, October 6
22:31 Governor of the North Western Province announces that all tuition classes in the province will be temporarily halted until further notice.
22:28 One-hundred-and-twenty-four Minuwangoda apparel workers test positive for COVID19. The total number of those affected by this cluster has now risen to 832.
20:22 The Department of Motor Traffic has decided to temporarily suspend services until October 9.
21:41 Police say tough action will be taken against those hiding or assisting the evasion of any COVID19 or suspect-COVID19 patient.
14: 38 The government has requested all employees of the Minuwangoda apparel factory and their families to remain at home, no matter where in the country they are.
16:36 The Department of Immigration and Emigration and the Department of Registration of Persons decide to temporarily halt services and say they will be closed until October 9.
16:13 One-hundred-and-thirteen Minuwangoda apparel factory workers test positive for COVID19.
15:57 All events - exhibitions, musical shows, outdoor functions, parties, conferences parties etc. have been prohibited until further notice.
13:44 Police announce curfew will be imposed on the Gampaha police division from 6 PM this evening, until further notice.
12:50 Two-hundred-and-forty-six Minuwangoda apparel factory employees test positive for COVID19. The total number of those affected by this cluster is now 567.
10: 35 Police say a 60-year-old resident of Wellawatte was arrested overnight for publishing fake COVID19-related news on social media.
06:55 Fifty-one people arrested for violating curfew in Minuwangoda, Divulapitiya and Veyangoda overnight.
Monday, October 5
21:58 Thirteen Minuwangoda apparel factory employees test positive for COVID19, raising the total number of those affected now to 101.
21:40 Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) Chandana Wickremaratne cancels leave for all police officers until further notice.
21:19 Ten Minuwangoda apparel factory employees test positive for COVID19. The total number of employees affected is now 88.
20:00 Five Minuwangoda apparel factory employees test positive for COVID19.
18:23 A Minuwangoda apparel factory employee tests positive for COVID19 in Jaffna and is transferred to the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) in Colombo.
17:11 Two Minuwangoda apparel factory workers test positive for COVID19 in Kurunegala and are transferred to the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) in Colombo.
16:40 Health Ministry says it will conduct PCR tests on 2,000 employees of the Minuwangoda apparel factory.
15:14 Department of Buddhist Affairs announces that all Daham Pasal (Sunday Schools) will not operate until further notice.
14:23 Prisons’ Department decides visitors will not be allowed to prisons across the island as a temporary measure until further notice.
11:04 Sixty-nine employees of the Minuwangoda apparel factory test positive for COVID19.
07:50 University Grants Commission advises Kelaniya University, Gampaha Wickramarachchi Ayurveda Institute and Nailwala Institute of Higher Technology students to remain at home.
06:58 Ten people arrested for violating curfew in the Minuwangoda area overnight.
Sunday, October 4
20:49 Police curfew imposed on the Veyangoda police area with immediate effect until further notice.
20:33 The Education Ministry decides that tuition classes in the Colombo district will also be suspended with immediate effect until further notice, and that all international schools and private schools in the island will also close early.
17:40 Acting Health Services Director Dr S. Sridharan asks those in the Gampaha district with symptoms of fever to immediately have a PCR test done at the nearest hospital.
17:05 The 16-year-old daughter of the apparel factory worker also tests positive for the virus and is moved to the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) in Colombo.
14:24 Brandix Lanka Ltd., the private apparel company whose 39-year-old employee tested positive for COVID19 issues a statement on what measures it has taken to manage the situation.
01:23 Army, Navy, Air Force and Civil Defence Force (CDF) personnel from Minuwangoda and Divulapitiya areas asked not to report to work.
01:20 The Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Child Development directs all pre-schools in the country to also close.
01:00 The Archdiocese of Colombo announces that all Catholic schools across the island will also close for second term holidays early.
12:43 Higher education institutions in the Gampaha district - the Kelaniya University, the Wickramarachchi Ayurveda Institute and the Nailwala Institute of Higher Technology - decide to close for a week. The University Grants Commission (UGC) also orders student hostels to vacate immediately.
12:40 The Prisons Department decides that no visitors will be allowed to the prisons in Mahara and Negombo with immediate effect.
12:30 The Education Ministry decides that all schools will close for second term school holidays immediately, and not at the end of the week as previously scheduled.
12:06 The Education Ministry has decided that all schools and tuition classes in the Gampaha district will close for a week.
09:40 Police curfew has been imposed on the police divisions of Minuwangoda and Divulapitiya with immediate effect until further notice.
08:11 The apparel factory employee is a resident of Divulapitiya - 15 staffers at the Gampaha Hospital where she was admitted to with a fever, and over 40 employees of the apparel factory placed in self-quarantine.
07:45 An employee of an apparel factory in Minuwangoda, in the Gampaha district, has tested positive for #COVID19. This is the first reported case from outside quarantine centres in two months.