This is a live blog about the novel coronavirus now named COVID-19, that is spreading rapidly across the world. The latest developments, from both here and abroad, will be documented here.


Saturday, July 19

22:43 Twenty new COVID-19 cases reported so far today; nine returnees from Saudi Arabia, seven from Qatar, India and the UAE. Four contacts from the Kandakadu Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre.

Friday, July 17

18:00 Global COVID-19 death toll surpasses 600,000. More than 14.2 million people infected while 8.4 million have recovered.

18:55 Six new COVID-19 cases reported so far today; five are contacts of the Kandakadu Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre, one returnee from the Philippines.

Thursday, July 16

08:56 Army Commander Lt. General Shavendra Silva says all those who visited detainees at the Kandakadu Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre have tested negative for COVID-19.

11:57 Public Health Inspectors Union of Sri Lanka says its members will step away from all COVID-19 control duties with effect from today.

12:25 Attorney General approves COVID-19 (Election) Regulations 2020 submitted by the Health Ministry Secretary, pertaining only to Election meetings, canvassing and election offices.

18:24 139 individuals subjected to PCR tests in Rajanganaya; out of which only one—a 12-year-old youth—tested positive for the virus.

14:51 Education Ministry announces that schools will re-open on July 27 only for Grades 11, 12 and 13. The new examination dates for GCE Advanced Level and Grade Five Scholarship examinations will be announced on Monday (20). Meanwhile, schools in Rajanganaya and Welikanda will remain closed until August 10.

Wednesday, July 15

09:48 Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, addressing the country, claims that the public need not have unnecessary fear with regards to the community spread of COVID-1913:28 Six COVID-19 recoveries reported; the total number of recoveries now at 2007

17:40 Eight new COVID-19 cases reported so far today; all new cases are from relatives of individuals attached to the Kandakadu Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre.

Tuesday, July 14

07:18 COVID-19 positive patients identified from the Kandakadu Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre increases to 519; nearly 800 persons under quarantine.

12:30 Melsta Private Hospital in Ragama temporarily shut down after its General Manager test positive for COVID-19

13:00 At least 30 people from seven families in Homagama were placed in self-quarantine after two Army personnel from the area tested positive for COVID-19.

18:00 The Mobitel office at W. A. D. Ramanayake Mawatha, Colombo 2 temporarily closed down after a person who was exposed to the virus visited the premises.

18:29 Two COVID-19 cases reported from Kundasale.

19:42 Two more COVID-19 patients identified in Gampaha.

Monday, July 13

17:52 Movement in several areas in Rajanganaya suspended by authorities, after several COVID-19 cases have been identified.

19:10 506 COVID-19 cases reported from the Kandakadu Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre so far; out of which 429 are detainees, 47 staffers and 30 contacts.

19:23 Twenty-five (25) COVID-19 cases reported so far today; 11 from Senapura Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre and14 from Kandakadu Rehabilitation Centre.

Sunday, July 12

10:38 Government Information Department refutes rumours of a possible government holiday due to the surge of COVID-19 cases.

19:10 Ministry of Education announces an additional holiday for all government schools and piriven institutions from 13-17 July.

21:35 All Catholic Private schools will follow government decision to close schools from tomorrow until 17 July.

21:59 National Election Commission announced that postal voting for the Rajanganaya Divisional Secretariat has been postponed due to the number of COVID-19 cases that were identified from the area.

Saturday, July 11

14:43 A second counsellor attached to the Kandakadu Treatment and Rehabilitation Center living in Rajanganaya, tested positive for COVID-19. Over 300 contacts including 70 children have been asked to self-quarantine.

22:58 Four more cases reported in the Rajanganaya area; all contacts of the counsellor who tested positive for the disease earlier today.

23:50 Fifty-seven (57) new COVID-19 cases identified so far today.

Friday, July 10

07:40 The Sri Lanka Army reports the quarantine centre in Kandakadu converted into a hospital to provide treatment to COVID-19 patients.

09:24 Another 196 people at the Kandakadu Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre tested positive for COVID-19. In total, 252 people at the Centre have tested positive so for, according to the Government Information Department.

20:16 Number of COVID-19 positive cases rise up to 296: three returnees from the UAE, nine from India and one from Pakistan. The number of patients identified at the Kandakadu Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre now at 283.

22:31 Another inmate from Welikada Prison tested positive for COVID-19. The total number of cases identified today increased to 300.

Thursday, July 09

15:31 56 people at the Kandakadu Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre—those who came into contact with the COVID-19 patient who was transferred to the Welikada Prison—and a counsellor attached to the Centre test positive for COVID-19.

20:23 42 people from 10 houses in Chiaw, contacts of the counsellor of the Kandakadu Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre who tested positive for COVID-19, placed in self-quarantine.

Wednesday, July 08

12:55 Commissioner General of Prisons announced that visitors will not be permitted to entre prisons across the island until further notice.

06:15 United States President Donald Trump has formally moved to withdraw from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

15:22 Two Sri Lankan returnees from Bangladesh and one Philippine national tested positive for COVID-19 today.

22:04 315 inmates at the Welikada Prison who were subjected to PCR tests have tested negative for COVID-19.

Tuesday, July 07

21:40 Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro test positive for COVID-19

18:34 Three COVID-19 patients identified so far today; one sailor, a returnee from Ethiopia and the inmate from the Welikada Prison.

14:48 Department of Prison announced visitors will not be permitted to enter the Welikada Prison premises until further notice.

14:20 174 people identified as contacts of COVID-19 patient who was detected from the Welikada Remand Prison and a group of staff from the Kandakadu Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre subjected to PCR tests.

09:46 An inmate recently transferred to the Welikada Remand Prison has tested positive for COVID-19

Monday, July 06
07:00
Schools that were closed due to the COVID-19 curfew reopened under several stages.

Sunday, July 05
19:50
Health Services Director-General Dr Anil Jasinghe says five consecutive PCR tests on the Jinthupitiya COVID-19 case, have proved negative. The patient and 154 others who were removed from the area were discharged from hospital.

Thursday, July 02
23:40
Nearly 150 people were removed from Jinthupitiya, Colombo 13 after one person tested positive for COVID-19. The individual had tested positive during mandatory self-quarantine at his residence, after returning from two weeks at a quarantine camp. Dr Anil Jasinghe, Director-General of Health Services confirmed that this is not a case of community transmission.

Tuesday, June 30

23:00 Five new COVID-19 cases identified so far today; all cases are returnees from Oman. Thirty-three (33) patients have recovered and discharged from hospital. There are 325 currently infected patients in the country.

Monday, June 29

23:50 Five new COVID-19 cases identified so far today. Seventeen (17) patients have recovered and discharged from hospital. There are 353 currently infected patients in the country.

Sunday, June 28

07:00 Number of confirmed COVID-9 cases across the world exceeds 10 million. 500,625 people have died of the virus, 5.4 million have recovered.

11:58 President's Media Division announces that islandwide curfew will be lifted with full effect from today.

23:50 Four new COVID-19 cases identified in the country; 22 have recovered and discharged from hospital. The number of active patients is now at 365.

Saturday, June 27

11:58 Police announce that 14-day mandatory self-quarantine will be imposed on anyone refusing to wear a facemask.

19:40 Nineteen (19) new COVID-19 cases identified today. The number of currently infected patients in the country is now at 383. Twenty recoveries recorded today.

Friday, June 26

23:59 Four new COVDI-19 cases identified so far today. The number of currently infected cases stands at 384. Seventeen recoveries recorded today.

Thursday, June 25

18:32 Nine new COVID-19 cases identified so far today; this includes six Navy personnel and three sea marshals. Number of currently infected persons in the country is 397.

Wednesday, June 24

12:33 Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi reports that 100,000 PCR tests have been carried out in Sri Lanka so far.

20:17 Ten new COVID-19 cases reported so far today; this includes seven returnees from the US and three Navy personnel. The cumulative count of cases has now surpassed the 2,000 mark. The number of currently infected in the country stands at 428.

Tuesday, June 23

22:28 Forty new COVID-19 cases identified so far today; this includes 29 merchant seafarers from Mumbai and 11 returnees from the USA.

Monday, June 22
23:50
A returnee from Maldives tested positive for COVID-19. The number of active cases in Sri Lanka is now at 414.

Sunday, June 21
23:59
No new COVID-19 cases identified for the second consecutive day. Twenty-six (26) patients have recovered and discharged from hospital. There are 441 active cases in the country at the moment.

Saturday, June 20
23:59
No new COVID-19 cases identified today. Twenty-six (26) patients have recovered and discharged from hospital. There are 467 active cases in the country at the moment.

Friday, June 19
23:50
Three new COVID-19 cases identified so far today. Twenty-five (25) patients have recovered and discharged from hospital. There are 493 active cases in the country at the moment.

Thursday, June 18

23:59 Twenty-two new COVID-19 cases reported so far today; 18 returnees from Dubai, two from Qatar, one each from Russia and the United Kingdom. There are 515 active cases in the country.

Wednesday, June 17

23:59 Nine new COVID-19 patients identified so far today; this includes two sailors, two returnees from Bangladesh and five from India. Twenty-six (26) individuals have recovered and discharged from hospital.

10:00 Nearly 70 percent of all trips to and from Beijing, China's main airport were cancelled as 106 new COVID-19 cases were reported this week. In just five days, Beijing has been beefing up its prevention measures to curb the spread of the virus and decided to raise the emergency response from Level III to Level II on Tuesday night.

Tuesday, June 16

21:40 Ten new COVID-19 cases reported so far today; six sailors and four returnees from Iran. Twenty-nine patients have recovered and discharged from hospital,

07:01 Pre-schools and day-care centres will be reopened from July 1, while adhering to health guidelines.

Monday, June 15

22:45 Sixteen new COVID-19 patients reported so far today. This includes three Navy officers, one returnee from Bangladesh, one from Pakistan, five from Kuwait and six returnees from Maldives.

Sunday, June 14

23:45 Five COVID-19 cases reported so far today; all of whom are Navy personnel.

Saturday, June 13

23:55 Four COVID-19 cases reported so far today. This includes one Navy officer, two returnees from Qatar, and a returnee from India. Fifty-six individuals have recovered and discharged from hospital.

12:29 President's Media Division announced that curfew for the entire country will be imposed from 12 midnight to 04.00 am daily from tomorrow (June 14) onwards.

Friday, June 12

23:50 Three COVID-19 cases reported so far today. This includes two Navy personnel and a returnee from Qatar. Forty-six individuals have recovered and discharged from hospital.

Thursday, June 11

23:50 Eight new COVID-19 cases identified so far today. The number of active cases stands at 716. The number of recoveries is at 1150.

Wednesday, June 10

23:00 Ten COVID-19 cases identified so far today; this includes eight Navy personnel and two returnees from Qatar and India. This brings the number of active cases in the country to 736.

22:15 Sixty-five individuals have recovered and discharged from hospital. The number of recoveries rises to 1122.

Tuesday, June 09

16:15 Government allows public to visit places of worship from 12 June, in accordance to health guidelines. Attendance restricted to 50 people.

23:50 Two new COVID-19 cases have been identified so far today, bringing the number of active cases to 791.

15:00 Government announces that schools will reopen in four phases. Principals, teachers and administrators will return to work on 29 June. Accordingly, Grades 5, 11 and 13 will recommence on 6 July, Grades 10 and 12 on 20 July, while Grade 3-9 on 27 July. The GCE Advanced Level examination has been postponed to 7 September and 2 October. The Grade Five scholarship exam will be on 13 September.

12:30 Sri Lanka surpasses the 1,000 mark in COVID-19 recoveries. Sixty-seven patients have recovered and discharged from hospital so far today. The total number of recoveries is at 1057.

Monday, June 08

23:50 Forty-nine COVID-19 patients have recovered and discharged from hospital. The number of recoveries is at 990.

19:49 Twenty-two new COVID-19 cases reported so far today. This includes 10 Navy officers, four returnees from Chennai, and eight from Kuwait. The number of currently active patients in the country stands at 856.

Sunday, June 07

22:52 Twenty-one new COVID-19 patients identified so far today.

13:16 Fifty COVID-19 patients have recovered and discharged from hospital. The total number of recoveries in the country now at 941.

09:57 Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith requests the government to re-open churches for a limited number of people to pray and attend mass.

Saturday, June 06

22:50 Thirteen new COVID-19 cases identified in the country so far today and 33 individuals have recovered and discharged from hospital.

Friday, June 05

23:00 Four new COVID-19 cases identified thus far today and 19 individuals have recovered and discharged from hospital.

Thursday, June 04

23:00 Forty-right (48) new COVID-19 cases reported so far today. Out of which 36 are Navy officers and others are foreign returnees. The number of active cases at 947, while 839 have recovered and discharged from hospital.

Wednesday, June 03

23:24 Fifty-two cases identified thus far today. Out of the cases reported today, 31 are Navy officers while others are overseas returnees. This brings the total number of active cases to 888.

Tuesday, June 02

23:59 Forty new COVID-19 patients identified today. Out of which 32 returnees from Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, and Russia. Among the patients are seven Navy officers and an associate of an infected officer.

Monday, June 01

23:29 Ten COVID-19 cases reported so far today, out of which, two are Navy officers, two are contacts of a previously identified patient, and six overseas returnees. This brings the total number of currently active cases to 821.

17:17 One new COVID-19 patient identified; this brings the number of currently active cases in Sri Lanka to 812.

13:04 Ten COVID-19 patients have recovered and discharged from hospital. The total number of recoveries in Sri Lanka is now at 811.

Sunday, May 31

23:26 Thirteen COVID-19 cases identified so far today. Out of the 13, four are Navy officers and nine overseas returnees.

17:50 Eight new COVID-19 cases identified so far today. Seven of the cases are returnees from Russia and the other is a Navy officer. The number of active cases now at 817, number of recoveries 801.

Saturday, May 30

19:30 Five more COVID-19 patients identified; eight new cases identified so far today. This brings the number of currently active patients to 775.

16:47 Three new COVID-19 cases identified so far today, bringing the number of active patients to 770. The total of recoveries is at 780.

Friday, May 29

23:50 Eighteen more individuals tested positive for COVID-19 at various quarantine centres; 28 new cases identified so far today. This brings the number of currently infected patients in the country to 794.

18:45 Ten new COVID-19 cases identified so far today; seven are Navy officers while the other three are returnees from Dubai. Number of active cases at 776, number of recoveries 756.

Thursday, May 28

23:59 Twenty-seven more COVID-19 patients identified; 61 cases reported thus far today. This brings the number of currently infected patients in Sri Lanka to 775.

18:50 Seventeen more COVID-19 positive patients reported. 34 cases reported thus far today; 32 are foreign returness and two others are Navy officers. This increases the number of currently active patients in Sri Lanka to 748.

18:30 Seventeen new COVID-19 cases identified today. This brings the number of currently infected persons in the country to 731. Number of recoveries at 745.

Wednesday, May 27

21:00 Twenty-eight more COVID-19 patients reported, all of whom are overseas returnees; 134 cases identified today.

20:53 Hundred-and-six (106) cases identified thus far today. Out of which 53 are Navy personnel and 53 are returnees from overseas.

14:05 Twenty more COVID-19 patients have recovered and discharged from hospital. This brings the number of recoveries in Sri Lanka to 732.

Tuesday, May 26

22:00 Thirty-nine (39) more tested positive for COVID-19, all cases are returnees from Kuwait undergoing quarantine; 135 new cases identified today. This brings the number of active cases to 595.

19:36 Seventy-nine (79) new COVID-19 cases identified; altogether 96 new cases reported today. Out of which 88 of them are returnees from Kuwait, currently quarantined at Trincomalee and Minneriya quarantine centres. Eight other patients are Navy officers.

16:20 Seventeen (17) new COVID-19 cases identified thus far today. Number of currently active patients in Sri Lanka is now at 477.

12:45 Fifteen (15) COVID-19 patients have recovered and discharged from hospital. The number of recoveries in Sri Lanka is now at 710.

05:00 Curfew in Colombo and Gampaha districts relaxed as of today, alongside the rest of the country. The government has requested the public to follow the guidelines and recommended health practices.

Monday, May 25

21:06 Qatar flight scheduled to repatriate Sri Lankans postponed with more overseas returnees testing positive for COVID-19.

19:30 Forty-one (41) new COVID-19 cases identified thus far today.

17:05 The tenth COVID-19 death is reported in Sri Lanka. The deceased is a 51-year-old woman who returned from Kuwait and was in quarantine in Trincomalee.

13:46 Twenty-one (21) COVID-19 patients have recovered and discharged from hospital. The number of recoveries in the country now at 695.

Sunday, May 24

23:15 Twenty-three (23) people tested positive for COVID-19, all of whom are currently under observation at quarantine centres. With this the number of cases identified today rises to 52—the highest recorded since January. Out of the new cases, 49 are Kuwait returnees, one is a Navy officer and another returnee from Indonesia. The number of currently infected patients in the country is at 458.

18:50 Twenty-four new COVID-19 cases identified; 29  cases reported so far today. This brings the number of currently active cases in the country to 435.

14:45 Four new COVID-19 cases identified; all of whom are returnees from Kuwait currently quarantined in Trincomalee. This brings the number of active cases to 411

14:21 Fourteen COVID-19 patients have recovered and discharged from hospital. The number of total recoveries in Sri Lanka now at 674.

Saturday, May 23

23:57 Eleven new COVID-19 cases identified. This brings the number of currently active cases in the country to 420.

17:05 Ten new COVID-19 cases identified; all of whom are Navy personnel. This brings the number of currently infected patients in Sri Lanka to 409.

13:45 Forty (40) COVID-19 patients have recovered and discharged from hospital. Total recoveries in Sri Lanka is now at 660.

Friday, May 22

19:59 Two more COVID-19 patients identified; four new cases identified thus far. This brings the number of currently infected patients in the country to 430.

18:54 Two more COVID-19 patients identified; all of whom are Navy personnel. This brings the number of currently active cases in Sri Lanka to 428.

13:30 Sixteen more COVID-19 patients have recovered and have been discharged from hospital. This brings the number of recoveries in the country to 620.

Thursday, May 21

23:58 Ten more people tested positive for COVID-19; 27 new cases identified so far. This brings the number of currently infected patients in the country to 442.

18:21 Seventeen new COVID-19 cases reported thus far in Sri Lanka today. Two of these naval officers from Mullaitivu quarantine centre, 15 others are returnees from Dubai, currently quarantined at Giragama. There are now 432 infected persons in the country.

13:25 Twenty COVID-19 patients have recovered and have been discharged from hospital. This brings the number of recoveries in the country up to 604.

Wednesday, May 20

22:40 One COVID-19 case identified. This brings the number of currently infected persons in the country to 435.

14:50 Fifteen more COVID-19 patients have recovered and have been discharged from hospital, bringing the total number of recoveries to 584.

Tuesday, May 19

23:59 Five more patients tested positive for COVID-19 bringing the number of cases identified today to 35; all cases identified within quarantine centres. This brings the total number of currently infected patients to 449.

19:05 Twenty-eight new COVID-19 cases identified today. All of whom are Navy officers from within the Oluvil quarantine centre. This brings the number of currently infected patients to 442.

13:45 Ten more COVID-19 patients have recovered and have been discharged from hospital. The total number of recoveries in Sri Lanka is now at 569.

Monday, May 18

20:05 Five new COVID-19 cases identified thus far today. The number of currently infected patients is at 418.

12:49 Twenty-one (21) COVID-19 patients have recovered and have been discharged from hospital. This brings the number of total recoveries in Sri Lanka to 559.

Sunday, May 17

23:45 Eleven new COVID-19 cases identified; 21 cases reported thus far today. This brings the number of currently infected patients to 434.

22:03 Ten new COVID-19 cases identified today, bringing the number of currently infected patients to 423 in the country. 209 individuals are currently under observation in hospitals.

13:00 Eighteen COVID-19 patients have recovered and have been discharged from hospital, bringing the number of recoveries in the country to 538. Currently, there are 413 infected patients.

Saturday, May 16

21:06 Twelve new COVID-19 patients identified; all are Sri Lanka Navy personnel. This brings the number of currently infected patients in the country to 420.

19:03 Two new COVID-19 cases identified thus far today. The cases were reported from Meeyankulam and the Kandakadu quarantine centres. This brings the number of currently infected persons in Sri Lanka to 408.

15:07 Forty-three (43) COVID-19 patients have recovered and have been discharged from hospital. Total recoveries in Sri Lanka now at 520.

Friday, May 15

14:00 Thirty-two more COVID-19 patients have recovered and have been discharged from hospital, bringing the total number of recoveries to 477.

Thursday, May 14

19:30 Only one new COVID-19 case identified thus far today. The number of currently infected patients in the country is at 462.

13:11 Sixty-three (63) COVID-19 patients have recovered and have been discharged from hospital. This brings the total number of recoveries to 445 in the country.

Wednesday, May 13

19:58 Four new COVID-19 cases have been identified thus far today. The number of currently infected persons is 502.

13:19 Sixteen more COVID-19 patients have recovered and have been discharged from hospital, bringing the total number of recoveries in Sri Lanka to 382. The number of currently infected stands at 498.

Tuesday, May 12

23:55 Seven new COVID-19 cases identified in the country, bringing the number of currently infected persons to 514.

19:18 Ten new COVID-19 cases identified thus far today, increasing the number of currently infected persons to 507; 09 out of 10 new cases reported are Navy personnel, the other is an individual at the Kandakadu quarantine centre.

17:00 SriLankan Airlines has commenced offering outbound passage for travellers to London, Tokyo (Narita) Melbourne and Hong Kong which are supporting global lockdown ease. The flights to these areas will operate for both passengers and cargo.

16:00 Government has granted permission to buses (those attached to the Sri Lanka Transport Board, as well as privately owned) and train transportation to recommence tomorrow (13 May) under strict guidelines, in districts where curfew is lifted.

13:50 Twenty-three more COVID-19 patients have recovered and have been discharged from hospital, bringing the total number of recoveries to 366.

Monday, May 11

23:04 No new COVID-19 cases have been reported thus far today. The number of currently infected persons stands at 511 in Sri Lanka. 343 have recovered and have been discharged from hospital.

13:09 Twenty-two more COVID-19 patients have recovered and have been discharged from hospital, increasing total recoveries to 343.

Sunday, May 10

21:05 Curfew in all other districts except Colombo and Gampaha will be lifted tomorrow at 5.00 am and re-imposed at 8.00 pm daily.

18:10 Eight new COVID-19 cases identified; total number of currently infected persons in the country now at 525.

14:05 Sixty-one (61) COVID 19 patients have recovered and have been discharged from hospital today. This increases the number of recoveries to 321.

Saturday, May 9

21:30 Four new COVID- 19, positive patients identified; all are Sri Lanka Navy personnel. This brings the number of currently infected persons in the country to 577.

16:45 Nine new COVID-19 cases identified in the country. The number of currently infected persons now at 580. The new cases have been reported among nine Navy personnel, who are currently under quarantine.

13:24 Fifteen COVID-19 patients have recovered and have been discharged from hospital. The number of total recoveries in Sri Lanka is now at 255.

09:59 Colombo Stock Exchange, which was temporarily shut down due to the curfew, has announced that trading will re-commence from Monday, 11 May.

Friday, May 8

23:59 Eleven more people tested positive for COVID-19. Number of currently infected persons now at 586.

13:55 Eight more COVID-19 positive patients have recovered and have been discharged from hospital, bringing the total recoveries to 240.

01:03 Eighteen new COVID-19 cases identified, bringing the number of currently infected patients to 583. 232 have recovered.

Thursday, May 7

22:56 The Sri Lanka Association of Government Medical Laboratory Technologists claims a number of PCR tests, conducted to identify COVID-19 cases, are erroneous. Addressing a press conference, the association claimed that four PCR tests carried out on 5 May on patients from Rajagiriya, Modara and Kolonnawa had been faulty.

18:00 Seven new COVID-19 cases identified so far today in Sri Lanka; six of these are Navy officers, the other is an individual who had close contact with a Navy officer.

12:52 Seventeen more COVID-19 patients have recovered and have been discharged from hospital. This brings the number of total recoveries in the country to 232.

Wednesday, May 6

19:30 Three new COVID-19 cases identified thus far in Sri Lanka today; all three are Navy officers.

Tuesday, May 5

23:22 Twenty COVID-19 patients were identified in Sri Lanka thus far today, increasing the number of currently infected persons to 549.

21:15 Nine COVID-19 cases recorded thus far today, from the Kolonnawa, Colombo 15 and Rajagiriya areas as well as the Kandakadu Qurantine Centre. Four naval also officers are among the cases recorded.

17:21 Army Commander Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva says 138 people from Rajagiriya, Kolonnawa and Kolabissa in Kandy, have been moved to quarantine centres, after coming into contact with COVID-19 patient previously.

14:15 The ninth COVID-19 related death is reported in Sri Lanka. The deceased is a 52-year-old woman from Modara who was receiving treatment at IDH.

06:36 Thirty-three (33) people tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday (May 4).  31 of them are Sri Lanka Navy personnel and the other two were detected from quarantine camps. The number of currently infected persons in #SriLanka is at 549.

Monday, May 4

19:36 The eighth COVID-19 related death is reported. The deceased is a 72-year-old woman who was receiving treatment at the Homagama Hospital. The deceased was a resident of Kurunegala.

19:18 Two more people tested positive for COVID-19. Total recoveries in the country rises to 194.

13:58 Three more COVID-19 patients have recovered and have been discharged from hospital. This brings the total number of recoveries in Sri Lanka to 187.

Sunday, May 3

23:20 Ten more people tested positive for COVID-19, increasing the number of currently infected persons to 527. Altogether, 13 cases identified thus far.

18:15 Two COVID-19 cases reported thus far today, raising the number of currently infected persons to 518 in the country.

13:22 Akurana and Beruwala areas, which were declared as isolated areas following the detection of COVID-19 patients, have now been re-opened.

12:40 Ten more COVID-19 patients have recovered and have been discharged from hospital, raising total number of recoveries to 182.

Saturday, May 2

22:40 Twelve people tested positive for COVID-19 today. The number of currently infected persons in the country is 523

14:40 Over 350 individuals who were stranded in various parts of the Western Province, after the COVID-19 lockdown was initiated, were sent home today, under Police protection.
As the first phase of the programme, priority was given to pregnant mothers, chronic patients and children who were subjected to a medical check-up and disinfection before returning home.

13:20 Ten more COVID-19 patients have recovered and have been discharged from hospital. Altogether, 172 persons from around the country have recovered so far.

Friday, May 1

23:24 Nineteen new patients tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the number of currently infected persons to 521 in the country. Twenty-five cases identified thus far today.

20:30 Public and institutional activities can return to normalcy from May 11, despite the curfew in Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara and Puttalam.
President's Media Division announced curfew in the high risk areas will continue until May 11.
Curfew for other areas will be lifted at 5 AM on May 4 and reimposed at 8 PM on the same day. This will continue until May 6.

17:29 Three more people tested positive for COVID-19. Altogether, six new cases reported thus far today; the number of currently infected persons in the country stands at 507.

15:00 Two more COVID-19 patients are identified, bringing the number of currently infected persons to 504. 145 people are currently under observation in hospitals.

13:01 Three more COVID-19 patients recover. Total recoveries now at 157.

12:42 One more person tested positive for COVID-19 today. The number of currently infected persons in Sri Lanka now is now at 502.

Thursday, April 30

23:16 Fifteen patients who tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered and have been discharged from hospital. The total number of recoveries in Sri Lanka has increased to 154.

19:09 Four new COVID-19 positive patients identified, increasing the number of currently infected persons in Sri Lanka to 507. Health Ministry reports that all four cases were reported from within the Oluvil quarantine centre.

14:45 SriLankan Airlines has issued a notice to students holding Sri Lankan passports in the United Kingdom or Australia, who wish to be repatriated to Sri Lanka, to register themselves with the Sri Lankan High Commission in their respective countries at the earliest.

13:45 Three patients who tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered and have been discharged from hospital. Total recoveries in Sri Lanka now at 139.

Wednesday, April 29

21:35 Curfew in 21 districts except Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara and Puttalam will be lifted at 5 AM tomorrow, re-imposed at 8 PM. The President's Media Division announced that this will continue till 5 AM on Monday (May 4).

21:06 Five new COVID-19 cases identified; this brings the number of currently infected persons to 484. Two more patients have recovered and have been discharged from hospital, bringing the number o recoveries to 136.

14:00 Three new COVID-19 positive patients identified, bringing the number of currently infected individuals to 481 in the country.

10:30 The Colombo Manning Market commenced trading earlier today. The market was closed for two weeks due to COVID-19 fears. The trading opened after it was disinfected by the operatives of the Ministry of Defence.

Tuesday, April 28

20:34 Fifteen new patients test positive for COVID-19, bringing the number of currently infected persons in Sri Lanka to 470. Twenty-three (23) cases thus far today.

17:23 Four new Covid-19 cases identified; eight cases thus far today. Five are Navy officers, three from those in the Punani quarantine centre.

15:38 Four new COVID-19 cases identified; this brings the number of currently infected persons to 451 in Sri Lanka.

14:00 Eight people have recovered and have been discharged from hospital, bringing the total number of recoveries to 134 in the country. The number of currently infected persons receiving treatment stands at 447.

10:05 Director-General of Health Services Dr Anil Jasinghe has issued a set of guidelines to expecting mothers.
Accordingly, pregnant women with signs of fever, bleeding, severe headache, difficulty in breathing, impaired vision, fits, chest/abdominal pain, reduced foetal movements, swelling of the body, or any other severe discomfort, should seek immediate hospital care.
Pregnant women attending clinics are also advised to obtain prior appointments to avoid congestion in hospitals.

Monday, April 27

21:52 Three new COVID-19 cases identified; 61 new cases so far. This brings the number of currently infected persons to 451.

20:00 Ten more people tested positive for COVID-19; 58 people tested positive today, so far. The number of currently infected persons now at 448.

19:00 Special Presidential Task Force has been appointed to ensure health security at military camps and bases. Task Force will be led by Marshal of the Air Force and Western Province Governor Roshan Goonetileke.

18:15 Army Commander Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva says, so far 180 navy officers have been infected; 112 officers were from the Welisara Naval Base, while 68 of them were on leave. Fifty-eight (58) navy families have been moved to quarantine centres in Mihintale and in Boossa.

18:05 Four new COVID-19 cases reported in the country. This brings the number of currently infected persons to 438. Forty-eight (48) cases discovered so far today.

16:50 Ten new COVID-19 cases reported in the country, increasing the number of currently infected persons to 434. Forty-four (44) cases discovered so far today.

15:00 Thirty-four new COVID-19 cases discovered today, increasing the number of currently infected persons to 424.

13:20 Six more people who tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered. The total number of recoveries in Sri Lanka now at 126.

Sunday, April 26

22:10 Twenty new COVID-19 cases identified in the country; the number of currently infected persons increased to 378.

20:41 Eight more tested positive for COVID-19; number of currently infected persons in Sri Lanka now at 358.

20:00 Curfew that was to be lifted 5 AM tomorrow in parts of the island will not be lifted to facilitate returning tri-force personnel to their respective camps.
Curfew will be lifted in those districts on Tuesday, 28 April at 5 AM and reimposed 8 PM that day.

18:50 Six more people tested positive for COVID-19. The number of currently infected persons now at 350.

16:41 Four new COVID-19 cases reported; this brings the number of currently infected patients to 344, number of those recovered and discharged has increased to 120.

15:30 A navy officer attached to the Navy Headquarters in Colombo has passed away due to Leptospirosis, also known as rat-bite fever. Government Information Department reported that the officer had passed away while receiving treatment in the Intensive Care Unit of the Sri Lanka Navy Hospital.It was confirmed that the officer was not infected with the COVID-19 virus. However, considering the present situation at the Welisara Navy Base, the body will be disposed of in a manner similar to those fallen ill with COVID-19.

14:02 Five more people tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the number of currently infected patients to 340.

12:07 Two new COVID-19 cases identified; this brings the number of currently infected persons to 335 in the country.

Saturday, April 25

22:09 Thirty-two new COVID-19 cases were reported in the country today, bring the total number of active cases to 327; 118 patients have recovered and have left hospitals, according to the Health Ministry.

18:30 Thirteen new COVID-19 cases reported today. Out of the 13, seven were among those at the Kandakadu quarantine centre, one resident of Bandaranayake Mawatha, Colombo 12, four from the Welisara Naval Base, and one from the Moneragala Hospital.This brings the total number of active cases to 310; 118 have recovered, while 237 are currently under observation in hospitals.

18:15 The President's Media Division has introduced a new system based on the last digit of National Identification Cards (NIC) for leaving home.The announcement states that the public is only permitted to leave their residences to purchase goods or medicine.Accordingly,

  • the NICs ending with 1 and 2 as last digits have been allocated Monday
  • NICs ending with 3 and 4 will be permitted to go out on Tuesday
  • NICs ending with 5 and 6, on Wednesday
  • NICs ending with 7 and 8, on Thursday
  • NICs ending with 9 and 0, on Friday  

The announcement does not specify when these measures will be enabled.

18:04 Curfew in Colombo, Gampaha, Kaluthara, Puttalam has been extended till 4 May morning. In other districts, curfew will be lifted at 5 am on 27 April and reimposed again at 8 pm that day. The President's Office has announced that this procedure will continue until 1 May.

12:36 Seven COVID-19 patients have recovered and have been discharged from hospital. This brings the total number of those recovered in the country to 116. The number of active patients has reduced to 297.

01:25 Sri Lanka Police says curfew imposed in all High Risk Areas, including Colombo, will be lifted on Monday (27) 5 am.
Curfew in other police areas and districts will also be lifted on Monday at 5 am.
Traveling in and out of Colombo, Kaluthara, Gampaha, Puttalam districts will not be allowed until further notice.

Friday, April 24

22:05 Two more COVID-19 cases discovered, bringing to 48 the number of cases reported thus far today. Number of active cases 300, while 183 are under observation in hospital.

18:38 Two more COVID-19 patients have recovered and discharged from hospital, bringing the total to 109.

18:26 Five more COVID-19 cases confirmed. Number of cases reported today now stands at 46. Number of currently active cases is at 300.

17:39 Thirty more naval personnel attached to the Welisara Navy camp tested positive for COVID- 19. This brings the total number of active cases to 295. 41 cases discovered in the country today.

17:18 Six more people tested positive for COVID-19 today. Total number of active cases in Sri Lanka now stands at 265.

15:42 Sri Lanka Navy announces that 4,000 Navy personnel attached to the Welisara Navy Camp and their families have been directed to self-quarantine, while some will undergo PCR tests.

11:17 Five more COVID- 19 positive patients identified, bringing the total number of active cases to 259.

10:45 Health Ministry says 1,142 PCR tests were conducted yesterday (23 April) to identify COVID-19 patients. This is the highest number of PCR tests that were carried out in one day.

07:18 Dr Anil Jasinghe, Director General of Health Services says 530 persons from the Peliyagoda Fish Market, who underwent PCR testing, have tested negative for COVID-19

Thursday, April 23

21:39 Twenty-eight (28) Sri Lanka Navy personnel at the Welisara Navy Camp have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Army Commander Shavendra Silva. This brings the total number of cases discovered today to 38 - the highest recorded number of cases in one day, so far. The total number of active cases stands at 254.

The Welisara Navy Camp has been declared as an isolated area. All Navy personnel who went on leave in the past few days, after quarantine duty, have been requested to report back immediately to undergo PCR tests.

20:59 Three more tested positive for COVID-19, increasing the total number of active cases to 226. Altogether, ten cases have been discovered so far today.

19:43 Two more tested positive for COVID-19, increasing the total number of active cases in Sri Lanka to 223. This brings the number of cases discovered in the country today to seven.

17:58 Two more COVID-19 patients recovered and discharged from hospital bringing total recoveries to 107.

17:10 One more tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the number of cases discovered today to five. Total number of active cases stand at 221.

13:45 Health Ministry says measures will be taken to conduct over 1,000 PCR tests daily to detect COVID-19 patients, with the assistance of private hospitals.

Presently, almost 800 PCR tests are conducted daily on active cases, individuals at quarantine centres and those suspected of infection. With the help of four major private hospitals more tests can be carried out to identify COVID-19 patients, according to Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi.

14:00 The Dengue Research team of the University of Jayawardenapura has successfully sequenced the genetic code of SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19) virus for the first time in the country. The data has been shared with Nextstrain, an international open source project that is tracking the evolution of the virus.

13:58 Four new cases of COVID-19 reported today. This brings the total of active cases to 222.

00:18 Seven more COVID-19 cases detected in the country, bringing the total of cases found on April 22 to 20. Number of active cases now 218. 148 in hospital under observation.

Wednesday, April 22

17:40 A patient at the Polonnaruwa hospital has tested positive for Covid-19, increasing active cases to 211.

13:53 Eleven people have tested positive for Covid-19 increasing the total number of infected in Sri Lanka to 210.

12:40 Two more people who tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered. Total recoveries in Sri Lanka now at 104.

Tuesday, April 21

18:02 Another COVID- 19 positive patient identified in Warakapola. This brings to 6 the number of cases reported today. Active cases currently stands at 203.

11:58 05 more people tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total of active cases to 204. 98 have recovered, 122 are under observation.

Monday, April 20

16:49 Eight more people have tested positive for COVID-19 today, bringing up the number of cases discovered today to 32- the highest since the outbreak. Total number of active COVID-19 cases in Sri Lanka now at 199.

09:55 Twenty-four new COVID-19 patients confirmed. All are from those quarantined in the Bandaranayakpura area, Colombo 12. This brings the total number of active cases to 192.

Sunday, April 19

18:53 Five more COVID-19 patients have recovered and have been discharged from hospital. This brings the total number of recoveries to 96.

17:35 A total of 15 new COVID-19 cases have been recorded This brings the total active number of cases to 171. Health Ministry says all cases are from within quarantine centres.

00:03 Six new COVID-19 cases confirmed. This brings the number of active cases to to 161. All six cases were reported from the Welisara Quarantine Centre.

Saturday, April 18

19:00 The government has decided to relax curfew in all but 25 police divisions in the country from neet week onward. Thereby, curfew imposed on Kotahena, Grandpass, Bambalapitiya, Keselwatta, Maradana, Gothatuwa, Mulleriyawa, Wellampitiya, Mt. Lavinia, Dehiwala, Kohuwala, Jaela, Kochikade, Seeduwa, Puttalam, Marawila, Wennappuwa, Bandaragama, Payagala, Beruwala, Aluthgama, Warakapola, Akurana Alawatugoda, Akkaraipattu will not be lifted. In other areas, curfew will be lifted on April 20 and April 22 and only be reimposed  between 8 PM and 5 AM thereafter.

18:15 Four new COVID-19 cases reported. Health Ministry notes that three of the cases were from within the Oluvil Quarantine Centre, while the other was a person who was in self-quarantine. Total number of active cases in Sri Lanka now at 164.

19:21 Nine COVID-19 patients have recovered and have been discharged from hospital. The total count of recoveries in the country now at 86.

Friday, April 17

17:19 Three new #COVID19 cases confirmed at the Punani Quarantine Centre. The total number of active cases now at 164. The Health Ministry also noted that 530 PCR tests have been conducted today.

Thursday, April 16

20:00 Three more COVID-19 patients have been discharged from hospital, bringing to 68 the total number of those recovered in Sri Lanka. There are 163 active cases now, and 161 persons are under observation in hospitals.

12:45 Two COVID-19 patients discharged from hospital, bringing the total number of recoveries to 65. There are currently 166 active cases in the country, while 161 people are under observation.

Wednesday, April 15

21:52 Two more people have tested positive for COVID-19. The total number of active cases in Sri Lanka is now 167.

18:02 Two more COVID-19 patients identified today, bringing the total number of active cases to 165.

14:00 Two more COVID-19 patients have been discharged from hospital, bringing the total number of those recovered to 63 in the country.

Tuesday, April 14

22:30 A total of 15 new COVID-19 cases detected in the country. All cases are from among those quarantined as a result of contact tracing. Number of active patients at 165. 142 under observation.

13:51 Isolation period imposed on Atalugama in Bandaragama lifted, according to the Sri Lanka Army.

13:00 Three more patients who tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered and have been discharged from hospital. The total of those recovered stands at 59, according to the Health Promotion Bureau.

09:00 Two areas in Beruwala—Pannila and Cheena Kotuwa—declared isolated areas by the Sri Lanka Army.

Monday, April 13

Seven people have been arrested by the Criminal Investigation Division for spreading false rumours about COVID-19 on social media, bringing to 16 the total number of those arrested.

Sunday, April 12

20:21 Eleven individuals have tested positive for COVID-19 as a whole today.  The discovery brings the total number of active cases to 147.

15:40 A new regulation with regards to cremation of person who have died from COVID-19 has been gazetted by the Government.

Saturday, April 11

17:17 One more person contracts COVID-19 in Sri Lanka, bringing to 137 the total number of currently active cases in the country.

Friday, April 10

12:50 One more COVID-19 patient has recovered and been discharged, bringing the total number of those recovered to 50 in Sri Lanka. There are 133 confirmed cases, while 224 are under observation.

Thursday, April 9

12:44 Three people who tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered. Total recoveries in Sri Lanka is now at 47.

Wednesday, April 8

19:08 The seventh death due to COVID-19 has been recorded in Sri Lanka. The deceased is a 44-year-old male who passed away at the IDH. He was a businessman from Mount Lavinia, and had returned from a trip to Germany.

16:15 Two more people tested positive for COVID-19. Total number of active cases now stands at 140.

12:40 Another case of COVID-19 reported today, bringing the total number of active cases to 138.

10:44 New York City’s death toll from the coronavirus has surpassed 4,000, eclipsing the number killed at the World Trade Center on 09/11.

Tuesday, April 7

22:03 The Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic, has lifted its outbound travel restrictions, ending a two months-long lockdown.

18:50 Two more COVID-19 positive cases reported, raising total active case number to 137 in Sri Lanka. So far a total of 185 cases have been discovered in the country since the beginning of the outbreak.

17:28 Three new cases of COVID-19 reported in the country. The total number of active cases now stands at 135. The Health Promotion Bureau states that 255 people are currently under observation.

13:12 Four more people who tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered and been discharged from hospital. Total recoveries in Sri Lanka is now at 42.

11:22 Two more people have tested positive for COVID-19. The total number of active cases is now 136 and 257 are currently under observation at hospitals.

10:51 The sixth COVID-19 death has been reported. According to the Director-General of Health Services, Dr Anil Jasinghe, the deceased is an 80-year-old man who was receiving treatment at the National Infectious Diseases Hospital.

Monday, April 6

19:15 Four people have recovered from COVID-19 bringing to 38 the total number of those recovered and discharged from hospital.

13:46 One person has recovered from COVID-19, bringing to 34 the total number of those recovered.

Sunday, April 5

16:54 Four COVID-19 cases have been recorded in Sri Lanka thus far. There are now 136 active cases in Sri Lanka.

Saturday, April 4 

19:30 Two people have recovered from COVID-19 bringing to 27 the total number of those recovered. The number of active cases in Sri Lanka currently is 130.

14:23 One more person passed away earlier today, bringing to 5 the number of deaths in Sri Lanka as a result of COVID-19. One more person has also recovered, bringing to 25 the number of those recovered and discharged. There are 129 people currently infected.

07:13 The fifth COVID-19 death reported in Sri Lanka. The victim was a 44-year-old male and a resident of Homagama who had returned from Italy and been sent into quarantine. On 23 March he was admitted to the Welikanda Hospital, on 26 March moved to the ICU. He had no other ailment.

Friday, April 3

22:40 Seven new COVID-19 cases reported, bringing to 131 the total number of active cases in Sri Lanka.

20:28 Two new person have recovered from COVID-19 in Sri Lanka, bringing to 24 the total number of those recovered and discharged. One new case was recorded today, bringing to 124 the total number of active cases.

Thursday, April 2

21:53 Fourth COVID-19 related death reported. The deceased is a 58-year-old male who was being treated at the IDH. He had died form pneumonia-related complications.

20:21 Three more people have been detected with #COVID19, bringing to 127 the total number of active cases in #srilanka. Visit our live blog for more information.

12:21 Two new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, bringing to 124 the total number of active cases in Sri Lanka.

Wednesday, April 1

23:39 The third COVID-19 death reported in Sri Lanka; the deceased is a 73-year-old male from the Maradana area. He died on admission to the IDH from complications of the disease. The patient had kidney issues, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

19:13 Three more confirmed COVID-19 patients completely recovered and discharged from hospital, bringing the total number of recovered to 21 according to the Epidemiology Unit

17:33 Three new cases of COVID-19 recorded in Sri Lanka today, bringing to 126 the total number of those currently infected.

12:32 Another COVID-19 patient has recovered and been discharged. Total recoveries in Sri Lanka now at 18: Health Promotion Bureau.

09:36 Curfew which was relaxed at 6 AM on all parts of the island today (except for high risk Colombo, Kandy, Gampaha, Kalutara, Puttalam and Jaffna) will be re-imposed at 02 PM today and will be in effect until 06 AM on 06 April and reimposed at 2 PM that day.

Tuesday, March 31

19:45 Ten new COVID-19 cases reported, bringing the total number of active cases in Sri Lanka to 123. This is the highest increase reported thus far in a single day.

16:15 Health Ministry announces seven new COVID-19 cases in Sri Lanka, raising the total number of active cases to 111.

13:00 Two COVID-19 patients have recovered and were discharged today. This brings the total number of recovered cases to 16; the total number of active cases is 104. The Health Promotion Bureau states that no new cases have been reported as of yet today.

12:00 206 people at the Vanni Quarantine Centre were released having completed the 14-day quarantine. The group is made up of 173 men and 33 women. The group also includes two foreigners.

Monday, March 30

18:57 A 64-year-old male being treated for COVID-19 at the Negombo Hospital has passed away, bringing the total number of deaths in Sri Lanka to two.

18:22 President's Media Division announces that curfew for all districts excluding Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Puttlam, Kandy and Jaffna will be in effect until 06 AM Wednesday (01 April).

09:47 Three new COVID- 19 cases identified in Sri Lanka bringing the total number of active cases to 108, according to the Epidemiology Unit, Ministry of Health.

Sunday, March 29 

20:40 Two new cases of COVID-19 have been reported, bringing to 105 the total number of active cases in the country. The number of those under observation is 117, while 11 people have recovered and been discharged.

9:27 President’s Media Division announces that curfew in Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Puttalam, Kandy and Jaffna districts will continue until further notice. Curfew in the other districts will be lifted at 6 AM tomorrow (March 30) and will be imposed again at 2 PM on the same day.

Saturday, March 28

20:30 Three more COVID 19 infected persons identified within Sri Lanka, bringing the total number of those currently infected to 103.

20:08 The first death from COVID 19 in Sri Lanka was just reported - the deceased a 60-year-old from Marawila who was being treated at the ICU of the IDH. Health DG Dr Anil Jasinghe said the deceased had undergone a kidney transplant several years ago, was diabetic and had high blood pressure.

16:22 One new case of COVID-19 detected, bringing to 101 the total number of active cases. 199 people are still under observation.

15:43 Health Promotion Bureau stats (updated 15: 03) indicate three new cases detected thus far today, bringing total number of those currently affected to 100. 199 currently under observation, 9 recovered and discharged.

9:41 A group of more than 300 people were released from quarantine centres this morning after they completed their two-week quarantine period.

Friday, March 27

16:16 Government issues strict warning to public on adhering to regulations while curfew is in place. Remind public that curfew was imposed to protect them from COVID-19 and that walking on streets and traveling in vehicles is prohibited unless sanctioned by Police through curfew pass. Instructs Police and tri-forces to strictly enforce regulations.

14:35 The govt. has identified a number of pharmacies islandwide that will deliver medicine to your doorstep. Payment can be made online or cash on delivery. The list of pharmacies and information on how to place your order can be accessed here.

09:47 Foreign Ministry confirms that a 59-year-old Sri Lankan male living in Switzerland has passed away from COVID-19. He passed away on Wednesday (25 March). He is originally from Punkuduthivu and held residence permit in Switzerland.

13:09 Health Promotion Bureau stats indicate one more person has recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of those recovered to 7. Number of active cases currently stands at 99, while those under observation is at 238.

Thursday, March 26

21: 44 Four new cases of COVID-19 were discovered in today, bringing to 100 the total number of those currently affected. 

18:30 Govt. declares March 30 to April 3 a 'Work from Home' week. This period will not be considered a government holiday. It applies to both public and private sectors with the exception of those services declared essential.

Wednesday, March 25

17:00 Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi says no new COVID-19 cases reported as of 16:30.

12:12 Health Promotion Bureau stats indicate one more person has recovered from COVID-19 in Sri Lanka, bringing total number of those recovered to 3 (including Chinese female). Total active COVID-19 cases now 99, with 225 under observation.

9:40: The Health Promotion Bureau clarifies that the total number of active COVID-19 cases are at 100. The number of those under observation is 229. Two individuals have recovered and have been discharged.

Tuesday, March 24

19:28 Health Promotion Bureau data indicated that the total number of those with COVID-19 is 102. Five cases were reported today.

16:42 The number of active COVID-19 cases increases to 101, after four new cases were reported today. 229 suspected cases are under medical observation. Two have recovered and were discharged.

15:28 Health Ministry announces the number of active COVID-19 cases in Sri Lanka is 100. 229 suspected cases are under medical observation. Two have recovered and were discharged.

10:28 Over 300 persons — 108 from the Kandakadu Quarantine Centre and 203 from the Punani Quarantine Centre were allowed to return home this morning having completed their quarantine period.

Monday, March 23 

22:00 The total number of active COVID-19 cases in Sri Lanka is now 93, according to the Health Promotion Bureau.

18:04 Director General Health Services Dr Anil Jasinghe says total number of those with COVID19 has risen to 91. Health Promotion Bureau data indicates number of those under observation has increased from 222 to 227.

15:51 The first Sri Lankan to test positive for COVID-19, a 52-year-old tour guide, has been discharged from hospital.

12:22 Curfew on Colombo, Gampaha, Puttlam, Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Killinochchi, Vavuniya and Mannar will be lifted at 6 AM tomorrow (24), reimposed at 12 noon until 6 AM on Friday (27) and reimposed again at 12 noon that day. In other districts, curfew will be reimposed at 2 PM today and will continue till 6 AM Thursday (26). It will be reimposed again at noon the same day.

06:04 Five new cases of COVID-19 reported overnight, bringing the number of active cases to 86.

Sunday, March 22 

17:20 Health DG Dr Anil Jasinghe says four people were detected with COVID-19 thus far, bringing the total number of active cases to 81.

16:35 Curfew imposed on all five districts in the Northern Province—Mannar, Vavuniya, Mullaitivu, Killinochchi and Jaffna—will be extended until 6 AM, Tuesday (March 24) and reimposed at 2 PM the same day. The decision was made in order to identify those who came into contact with a Swiss pastor who tested positive for COVID-19 so that can be sent to quarantine.

15:54 Health Promotion Bureau reports that the number of those affected by COVID-19 is now 80.

06:54 Health Ministry announces the Neville Fernando Hospital will be used to treat expectant mothers suspected of having COVID-19. The Homagama Base Hospital in Mulleriyawa will be used for suspect cases, the Voice of America building complex to treat those infected and the KDU Hospital ICU for serious cases.

Saturday, March 21 

20:00 One person died and four others were injured in a shooting that occurred at the Anuradhapura Prison after security forces personnel and inmates clashed during a riot.

19:03 Another case of COVID-19 has been detected, bringing the total number of currently active cases to 76.

18:06 The Gazette notification postponing the General Elections scheduled for April 25 has been issued. A new date for the election will be announced after May 14.

18:03 The weekend curfew currently in place will be extended till 6 AM Tuesday (March 24) and reimposed at 2 PM in the Puttalam, Colombo and Gampaha districts. The curfew imposed on other districts will be lifted at 6 AM on Monday and reimposed at 2 PM the same day until 6 AM Tuesday.

16:20 Four new cases of COVID-19 have been detected, bringing to 75 the total number of currently active cases.

15:20 No new cases of COVID19 have been reported thus far today. The total number of currently active cases is 71, while 245 individuals are under observation.

12:12 The Health Ministry has designated the Homagama General Hospital as a COVID-19 treatment centre. Patients who are currently being treated will be either transferred or moved home in the next two days.

10:30 The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) has directed all operators to provide data extensions and double-up offers at nominal rates in view of the government-mandated 'work from home week' and asks the public to reach out to their respective service providers for further information. 

Friday, March 20

23:05 The number of those affected by COVID-19 has increased by 2 bringing to 72 the total number of those affected - Health Promotion Bureau

17:14 Health Promotion Bureau says 70 people have now contracted COVID-19 within Sri Lanka.

14: 50: The Transport Ministry has announced that contrary to previous reports, all expressways will be open till 6 PM today. In addition, extra buses and trains will operate to ensure commuters are able to go home before curfew is imposed.  

11:46 The Ministry of Health reports that the number of those confirmed with the COVID-19 infection in Sri Lanka has increased to 65.

09:09 President’s Office announces islandwide curfew from 6 PM today to Monday 6 AM.

08:30 Police curfew imposed on Puttalam, Kochchikade, Wattala and Ja-Ela Police divisions will be lifted at 9 AM and re-imposed at 12 noon.

07:54 California state has ordered it's 40 million residents to stay at home, restricting non-essential movements to control the spread of the coronavirus that threatens to overwhelm the state's medical system.

Thursday, March 19 

21:58 A temporary Police curfew has been imposed on the Wattala and Ja-ela police areas from 10 PM until further notice.

16:18 Health Services Director-General Dr Anil Jasinghe says three more patients have tested positive with COVID-19, bringing the total to 59.

15:50 Health Services Director General Dr Anil Jasinghe says four more patients identified with COVID19, bringing total to 56.

14:15 Election Commission Chair Mahinda Deshapriya has announced the General Election cannot be held on 25 April due to the prevailing situation in the country and will, therefore, be postponed.

12:43 The Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry announces two more COVID-19 infected Sri Lankans, bringing the total infected to 52.

09:12 The coronavirus has been identified in all 50 US states. At least 8,017 people across every state, plus Washington, DC and three US territories, have tested positive and at least 140 people have died.

07:56 For the first time since the coronavirus crisis began, China reported no new local infections for the previous day. Officials said 34 new coronavirus cases had been confirmed, all involving people who had come to China from elsewhere.

07:05 A relief package to provide sick leave, unemployment benefits, free coronavirus testing, and food and medical aid to people affected by the pandemic was signed into law by President Donald Trump after the Senate passed it by a wide margin. It was approved by the House last week.

Wednesday, March 18

16:50 Health Services Director General Dr Anil Jasinghe has said that exit screenings will be conducted at exit ports to prevent those with fever from leaving the country, in order to fulfil international obligations.

16:28 Health Services Director General Dr Anil Jasinghe has said that a decision has been made to allow private hospitals to test for COVID-19 under strict conditions. Conditions include testing only those who display symptoms. Private hospitals have been informed that tests can cost no more than Rs. 6, 000 and has to be carried out under the supervision of the Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry. 

16:19 The Government announced that eight new COVID-19 cases were reported today, bringing to 50 the total number of those affected.

16:02 Army Commander Lt. General Shavendra Silva says the Sri Lankan pilgrims who will be brought back from India will be quarantined upon arrival.

13:41 Local media reports that Police will impose a curfew on 11 police areas in the Puttalam police division, 7 police areas in the Chilaw police division and the Kochchikade police division of Negombo.

11:00 Sri Lanka Navy has established a new quarantine centre which can house 136 people at the Boossa Navy Camp

07:00 The Trump administration is considering a plan to turn back all people who cross the border illegally from Mexico, using powers they say the president has during pandemics to mount what would be one of the most aggressive attempts to curtail illegal immigration.

06:40 The European Union will ban travellers from outside the EU bloc for 30 days in an unprecedented move to seal its borders amid the coronavirus crisis.

Tuesday, March 17 

21:47 President Gotabaya Rajapaksa instructs banks and financial institutions not to collect loan repayments for six months as a relief measure during this outbreak.

19:37 Government Information Department has announced that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has risen to 43.

17:05 Police have introduced five new numbers to call and register on if you have arrived from Europe, Iran and South Korea between March 1-10.
011 2 44 44 80
0112 44 44 81
0115 978720
0115 978730
0115 978734
119
or email on: [email protected]

16:57 Health Minister Pavithra Wanniaarachchi has announced that the number of active COVID-19 cases has risen to 34.

15:27 President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has said he doesn’t see the need to initiate a country-wide lockdown at the moment. “It has not spread greatly. We can contain it.”

12:23 The Civil Aviation Authority has announced that Qatari, Bahraini and Canadian nationals will not be allowed to land in Sri Lanka for two weeks with effect midnight tonight (March 17). This restriction will not apply to transit passengers provided they are 1. not nationals 2. have not visited the aforementioned three countries within the last 14 days and 3. have not visited countries previously designated as high-risk (Italy, Iran, South Korea, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Denmark).

11:32 The Sri Lankan Army has decided to temporarily transform all Army holiday homes in Diyatalawa into quarantine centres for returnees. Five more buildings under the security force headquarters in Wanni, Vavuniya will also be used as a quarantine centre.

8:12 Police Headquarters announce that all passengers who arrived from South Korea, Iran and Europe between March 1-15, can register by calling the nearest police station.

8:00 The Defence Ministry says 170 Sri Lankans from Italy & South Korea have evaded quarantine and urges them to register with police immediately; legal action against those who fail to comply.

7:40 President’s Media Division announced President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will address the nation at 8 PM today.

7:20 WHO has called for every suspected coronavirus case to be tested as worldwide death toll increased to 7138 with 181,580 infected.

00:31 Associated Press reports that a group of U.S. researchers have tested an experimental coronavirus vaccine, even as the pandemic surges.

Monday, March 16

23: 57 The government has declared a three-day holiday (17, 18, 19) for all services except for health, food supply, transport, banks, district, divisional secretariats and other essential services. 

22:56 - Sri Lankan Airlines says it has asked all those who operated flights with First Officer said to have contracted COVID-19 to self-quarantine, with monitoring from airline and state health officials. Simulation Training Centre he visited on March 14, 15 also shut down for sanitization, instructors advised to self-quarantine.

21:25 Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has ordered a lockdown of all public activities in the country from March 18-31. Malaysia has the most confirmed cases in Southeast Asia at 553.

21:11 Government Information Department announces that the number of COVID-19 cases in Sri Lanka has risen to 28.

16:47 Government Information Department has announced the 22nd confirmed case of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka. The 73-year-old male is receiving treatment at Karapitiya Hospital.

14:42 Three more cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Sri Lanka, the Health Ministry announced. This brings the total of active cases to 21.
The new patients include a 13-year-old girl and two men aged 34 and 50.

12:31 The Ministry of Buddhasasana, Cultural and Religious Affairs has decided to temporarily close all 11 museums in the country until further notice.

10:10 New Zealand bans gatherings of 500 people or more and has become the latest country to ban large gatherings.

Italy on Sunday reported 368 new deaths from the coronavirus outbreak as the country’s death toll hit 1,809 while the number of positive cases rose to 24,747 from 21,157 on Saturday, the country’s civil protection authority said.

Sunday, March 15

20:48 Seven more Sri Lankan patients infected with COVID-19 have been identified. Health Ministry stated that all patients are males who had arrived from Italy and are now at Kandakadu camp. This brings the total number of active cases to 18.

18:27 The 11th confirmed COVID-19 case reported in Sri Lanka; a 45-year-old who returned from Germany is currently being treated at IDH.

18:04 The Government Information Department introduced a hotline - 117 - that will directly connect you to the Presidential Task Force to Combat COVID-19 where the public can obtain or provide information on the outbreak.

16:50 All flights to Sri Lanka from the UK, Belgium and Norway will be suspended for two weeks with effect from Monday (16) night.

15:55 The Civil Aviation Authority has announced that the Jaffna International Airport closed for a period of two weeks with immediate effect.

14:30 Airport administration has said all passengers from 11 countries including France, Germany, Denmark, Russia and Sweden will be quarantined upon arrival.

13:15 The ACJU has requested the Muslim community to temporarily halt Jummah and the five times congregational prayers at masjids and all kinds of public gatherings until further notice.

13:06 The Elections Commission has announced that deposits and nominations for the General Election will not be accepted tomorrow as it is a Public, Bank and Mercantile holiday. Deadline for postal votes applications also extended till March 17 midnight.

12:22 The Ministry of Buddhasasana has requested the general public to refrain from pilgrimages and trips in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection.

Saturday, March 14

The ninth and tenth confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in Sri Lanka; the patients are a 56-year-old female who returned from Italy and a 17-year-old female relative of a patient already infected.

Dehiwala National Zoo, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Pinnawala Zoo & Ridiyagama Safari Park will be closed for two weeks from tomorrow (15).

UAE has suspended the issuance of all visas except for those holding diplomatic passports; decision effective as of March 17.

The eighth confirmed case of COVID-19 reported in Sri Lanka; 42-year-old male detected at Kandakadu Quarantine Center who is currently being treated at the Polonnaruwa Hospital.

Decision reached to cancel all Sunday masses for two weeks in all Catholic Churches in the Archdiocese of Colombo & Diocese of Chilaw.

Monday, 16 March declared a public, bank and mercantile holiday in Sri Lanka, in an effort to contain COVID-19. 

The number of deaths from COVID-19 has risen to 5,421 worldwide. There are at least 145,627 cases of infection globally.

The US Congress and the White House have struck a deal on a sweeping relief package to assist people impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

US President Donald Trump has officially declared a national emergency, that he said would give states and territories access to up to USD 50 billion in federal funds to combat the spreading epidemic.

Health Ministry has announced that two more cases have been identified, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to seven.

Police has been instructed not to allow large public gatherings for the next two weeks.

Friday, March 13

The Civil Aviation Authority has announced a travel ban for air passengers from Iran, Italy & South Korea for two weeks.

Over 95 percent of larger Chinese firms outside Hubei province, the epicentre of COVID-19 outbreak, have resumed work.

A female diplomat from the Philippine mission to the United Nations has tested positive for the coronavirus, making her the first known case at the New York headquarters.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife, Sophie, has tested positive for COVID-19. Trudeau’s office had earlier said that the Canadian first lady returned from a speaking engagement in Britain and had mild flu-like symptoms, including a low fever. Trudeau is in self-quarantine at home. 

Schools in several European countries, including Ireland, Portugal, and Belgium, have shut due to the outbreak.

India has reported it's first COVID-19 death; a 76-year-old man in the southern state of Karnataka.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that with effect from noon today (13), Electronic Travel Authorization on arrival for foreigners who hold ordinary passports will be temporarily suspended until further notice. Citizens of Singapore, Maldives and Seychelles will not be affected.

The CAA has announced that passengers from France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden & Austria will not be permitted to enter the country from 15th to 29th March. The President has also instructed authorities to suspend the issuance of visa to Europeans for two weeks. Meanwhile, Sri Lankans arriving from Europe will be quarantined for 14 days.

Three more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Sri Lanka. Two, aged 37 and 43, had arrived from Italy and were in quarantine at the Kandakadu camp. The third, aged 41, had arrived from Germany.

Thursday, March 12

The number of deaths from COVID-19 has risen to 4, 633 worldwide. There are at least 126, 367 cases of infection globally.

Saudi Arabia has temporarily suspended travel of citizens and residents and halted flights with several states. The ban includes the European Union, Switzerland, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Sudan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Eritrea, Kenya, Djibouti, and Somalia. 

Greece reported its first fatality from COVID-19. The man who died was 67 and had recently returned from a religious pilgrimage to Israel and Egypt. 

Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson are in isolation in a hospital in Australia, after testing positive for the virus. 

The US has suspended all travel from Europe, with the exception of the United Kingdom. The ban will remain in force for a month.

A second Sri Lankan, who shared lodging with the first Sri Lankan to contract COVID-19, has also contracted the virus and has been admitted to the IDH. The second patient is a 44-year-old man, according to the Ministry of Health. 

The Catholic Education Office has said all private Catholic schools in Colombo will be closed until March 26.

Education Minister Dullas Allahaperuma has said all government schools in Sri Lanka will be closed from March 13 to April 20 as a precautionary measure against COVID-19.

The Government Information Department together with the Health Ministry and the Health Promotion Bureau has set up a hotline for the general public to obtain information on COVID-19: 0710107107 or 0113071073

Wednesday, March 11

Preliminary tests have confirmed a Sri Lankan infected with COVID-19. The 52-year-old tour guide is the first Sri Lankan to have been infected with the disease since the inception of the outbreak and is being treated at the National Infectious Disease Hospital.

The number of deaths from COVID-19 has risen to 4, 299 worldwide. There are at least 119, 220 cases of infection globally.

The Washington State in the US plans to ban gatherings and events of more than 250 people in the Seattle area.

Panama’s health minister confirmed eight cases of COVID-19, including one death, the first virus-linked fatality in Central America. 

Nadine Dorries, a junior health minister in the UK government, has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and is in isolation.

Tuesday, March 10

The number of deaths from COVID-19 has risen to 4, 027 worldwide. There are at least 114, 422 cases of infection globally.

Over 160 Sri Lankan expats and foreigners will be sent to quarantine centers in Punani and Kandakadu.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged as much as USD 125 million to help speed the development of treatments for COVID-19. The money is intended to ensure drugs to treat the virus will be affordable, and available in poor countries. 

President Xi Jinping has arrived in Wuhan on his first visit to the city where the outbreak originated. 

Mongolia has barred anyone from entering or leaving its cities for six days after reporting its first case of COVID-19. 

US President Donald Trump has not been tested for COVID-19, even though at least two lawmakers with whom he has recently come into contact are in self-isolation after attending a conference where a delegate was confirmed with the virus. 

A 40-year-old woman in Panama has tested positive for COVID-19—the country’s first case.

Monday, March 9

The number of deaths from COVID-19 has risen to 3, 831 worldwide. There are at least 110, 092 cases of infection globally.

The Ministry of Buddha Sasana has announced that Dambadiva pilgrimage tours to India will be temporarily suspended with immediate effect.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has signed a decree that has put millions of people across northern Italy on lockdown. The largely unprecedented move puts the entire Lombardy region, as well as 14 other provinces, under travel restrictions.

The northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh is denying entry to all foreign nationals over coronavirus fears, the state government announced.

Qatar has temporarily barred travelers from 14 countries, including Sri Lanka, from March 9 as a precaution against the COVID-19 outbreak.

Health Services Director General, Dr Anil Jasinghe has asked that Sri Lankans returning from abroad self-quarantine at home for 14 days. Has also requested that foreign travel is restricted in the coming days due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Sunday, March 8

The number of deaths from COVID-19 has risen to 3, 600 worldwide. There are at least 106, 193 cases of infection globally.

There are 442 cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and local governments.

Search and rescue efforts are underway after about 70 people were trapped in a hotel collapse in southeastern China. The hotel was used as a coronavirus quarantine center.

Saturday, March 7

The number of deaths from COVID-19 has risen to 3, 497 worldwide. There are at least 102, 237 cases of infection globally.

G20 finance ministers and central bank governors pledged to take “appropriate” fiscal and monetary measures in responding to the coronavirus outbreak and to protect economic growth against shocks, the Reuters news agency reports.

Friday, March 6

Tokyo Olympics organisers have held a test event amid fears of the spread of coronavirus. They allowed a sport climbing event on Friday to go ahead, with a few restrictions: no fans and no top athletes.

The Vatican has also reported its first COVID-19 case, saying it had suspended outpatient services at its health clinic after a patient tested positive. Meanwhile, Cameroon also confirmed its first case of COVID-19 after a 58-year-old French citizen tested positive for the virus.

In Serbia, health minister Zlatibor Loncar reported that a 43-year-old man became the first person in Serbia to be infected with COVID-19.

Thursday, March 5

Israel and the Palestinian Authority have imposed a closure on Bethlehem and surrounding towns and villages, following the discovery of seven cases of COVID-19 in the Palestinian city. President Mahmoud Abbas also declared a state of emergency across the West Bank.

Vice President Mike Pence said the United States doesn’t have enough COVID-19 tests, at this point, to meet what officials expect to be the demand for them in the future.

Wednesday, March 4

The number of deaths from COVID-19 has risen to 3, 203 worldwide. There are at least 93, 160 cases of infection globally.

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in has called off a planned trip to the UAE, Egypt and Turkey in mid-March because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The outbreak in South Korea is the largest outside China. 

Japan has decided that the Olympic Games will go ahead as planned despite the outbreak of COVID-19.

Tuesday, March 3

The number of deaths from COVID-19 has risen to 3, 125 worldwide. There are at least 90, 932 cases of infection globally.

The first Sri Lankan COVID-19 patient has been reported from Italy, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said. The victim, a 46-year-old woman, reportedly from the Horana area, has been admitted to a hospital in Brescia, Italy. The Sri Lankan embassy in Italy says the woman is stable.

Lee Man-hee, the founder of the controversial Shincheonji Church of Jesus, has tested negative for COVID-19, after he was taken to a ‘drive-through’ test site. The church is at the centre of the outbreak in South Korea and has been heavily criticised over its response to the virus. Lee apologised and called the epidemic a “great calamity” but refused to be tested by public authorities until a local governor threatened to drag him by force to be tested. 

Australia’s Attorney General Christian Porter has said the government will use its biosecurity law to restrict the movements of people suspected of having COVID-19. The government would use the law to either designate some places out of bounds or place a patient in detention at home. 

WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom has said the world is in “uncharted territory” with COVID-19 because while the infection can spread through a community, it can also be contained.

Monday, March 2

The New England Journal of Medicine published its latest report on COVID-19, in which it extracted data regarding 1, 099 patients from 552 hospitals in 30 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in China. Main points of the study reported that the median age of the patients was 47 years and 41.9% of the patients were female; 5% were admitted to intensive care and 1.4% had died. 

Indonesia reported its first case of COVID-19; President Joko Widodo said two Indonesians had tested positive for the infection, marking the first confirmed cases in the world’s fourth most populous country.

Sunday, March 1

The number of deaths from COVID-19 has risen to 3, 053 worldwide. There are at least 89, 075 cases of the infection globally.

Two Sri Lankans who arrived from Italy, and were admitted to the National Infectious Disease Hospital with symptoms of the flu, have tested negative for the infection. 

Officials in Seoul, South Korea are accusing the church at the epicentre of the country’s COVID-19 outbreak, of murder. A case has been filed by prosecutors, claiming leaders of Shincheonji–the Christian church where the first cases were reported, are liable for the outbreak, because they didn’t cooperate with efforts to stop the disease. 

Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York, said the US’s first case of COVID-19 was someone who had recently returned from Iran.  

The WHO says the outbreak has reached the “highest level” of risk for the world, with the director-general warning it can go in “any direction”.

Saturday, February 29

The number of deaths from COVID-19 has risen to 2, 978 worldwide. There are at least 86, 991 cases of infection globally.

Luxembourg announced its first COVID-19 infection, a man who recently returned from Italy. The man in his 40s exhibited symptoms at the beginning of the week and testing in Luxembourg confirmed the disease. 

One person has died in Washington state of the COVID-19, making it the first reported death in the United States. The person who died was a woman in her 50s.

The number of cases in Italy has exceeded 1, 000 with the death toll rising to 29 in the past 24 hours. 

Qatar’s health ministry has reported the first case of infection in the country. The patient is a 36 year old man who was recently evacuated from Iran on a government-chartered plane and had been in quarantine with other evacuees.

Friday, February 28

The number of deaths from COVID-19 has risen to 2, 859 worldwide. There are at least 83, 387 cases of infection globally.

Two Sri Lankans who arrived from Italy have been admitted to the IDH after showing signs of fever and coughing. 

Nigeria, Belarus, New Zealand and Lithuania have announced the first infections of COVID-19. 

A popular video game that allows players to create a virus and spread it worldwide has been pulled from Apple’s App Store in China. Users based in China could not download ‘Plague Inc.’ on Friday after the cyberspace watchdog UK-based Ndemic Creations ordered its removal over “illegal” content.

Mongolia President Khaltmaagiin Battulga and his accompanying staff who travelled to China have been placed under quarantine. Battulga was the first foreign leader to visit China amidst the outbreak.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said all nations should prepare themselves for a potential pandemic. “This virus has pandemic potential,” Tedros said in Geneva. About 12 countries have reported their first virus cases in the past 24 hours.

Thursday, February 27

The number of deaths from COVID-19 has risen to 2, 807 worldwide. There are at least 82, 393 cases of infection globally.

Japan will close schools nationwide to help control the spread of COVID-19, the government has announced. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has asked all elementary, middle and high schools to remain shut until spring holidays in late March.

Mojtaba Zonnour, head of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Relations Commission has said that he is infected with COVID-19. He is currently in quarantine.

Estonia and Denmark have confirmed their first COVID-19 cases. In Estonia, a man who returned from Iran was confirmed as infected, while in Denmark, a man who returned from a ski holiday in northern Italy was reported infected.

Qianjiang, a city of around one million people in China’s Hubei province, has said it will pay residents as much as 10, 00 yuan (USD 1,425.96) if they proactively report symptoms of the illness, and the symptoms are confirmed after testing.

Wednesday, February 26

The number of deaths from COVID-19 has risen to 2, 764 worldwide. There are at least 80, 997 cases of infection globally.

An American soldier stationed in South Korea has tested positive for the COVID-19. The 23-year-old man, is the first confirmed infection among the 28, 500 US troops stationed in the south. San

Francisco has declared a local emergency over the COVID-19 outbreak, despite having no cases, as US officials urged Americans to prepare for the spread of infections within their communities.

WHO officials say it’s still too early to declare the COVID-19 a pandemic — but say it is time to prepare.

In the US, President Donald Trump has remained publicly optimistic about the virus, tweeting, ‘CDC and my Administration are doing a GREAT job of handling Coronavirus, including the very early closing of our borders to certain areas of the world.’ His decision has been criticised by the Democrats, however.

Iran’s Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi has tested positive for COVID-19, as the country struggles to contain an outbreak that has thus far killed 15 people.

Tuesday, February 25

The number of deaths from COVID-19 has risen to 2, 701 worldwide. There are at least 80, 150 cases of infection globally. 

About 60% of Chinese firms face operation difficulties due to the COVID-19 outbreak. At least 6% of them face bankruptcy and 20% see a temporary suspension. Just 5% see no obvious impact from the outbreak, the Global Times survey reports. 

The White House has requested USD 1.25 billion in emergency funding to address the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as the ability to tap an additional USD 535 million in emergency funds already appropriated.

Monday, February 24

The number of deaths from the COVID-19 has risen to 2, 619 worldwide. There are at least 79, 561 cases globally.

Cases in South Korea have surged past 600. Around half the total cases are associated with a branch of a religious group in the south of the country.

The total confirmed COVID-19 cases in Italy has risen from three to 132 over the weekend, a spike that is attributed to a rise in infections in the country’s north. This is the biggest outbreak outside Asia.

Iran’s health ministry has confirmed 43 cases of the virus, including eight deaths.

Sunday, February 23

The global death toll related to COVID-19 stands at 2, 462 with 78, 771 confirmed cases.

The Japanese Ministry of Health has discovered that 23 passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship were released after quarantine without being retested. The Ministry also confirmed that one of the ship’s passengers, a woman in her 60s from Japan, tested positive for COVID-19 after disembarking on February 19.

More than half of South Korea’s COVID-19 cases are linked to a branch of a controversial religious group Shincheonji, in the southern city of Daegu. At least 231 of the country’s 433 confirmed cases are associated with the religious group.

The total number of cases reported in South Korea in the past 24 hours stands at 229, after 142 new cases were confirmed overnight.

Saturday, February 22

The global COVID-19 related death toll stands at 2, 251 while the number of infections has reached 77, 277.

A patient in the northern city of Padua , Italy has died after being infected with COVID-19. The man, aged 78, is the first Italian victim of the disease.

Kuwait’s civil aviation authority has decided to stop all flights to and from Iran amid fears of the COVID-19 outbreak. Kuwaiti nationals arriving from Iran will be subjected to quarantine and residents or those with entry permits who were in Iran in the past two weeks will be barred.

Lebanon and Israel have confirmed their first cases of COVID-19.

Friday, February 21

COVID-19 has now killed 2, 247 people and has infected over 76, 000 people around the world.

Dozens of people clashed with police outside a hospital in central Ukraine over government plans to quarantine evacuees from COVID-19-hit China in the facility.

A continued decline in the number of new cases of COVID-19 infections in China is encouraging, the World Health Organisation said, but it is too early to know if this trend will continue.

The COVID-19 outbreak in China had caused a drop in trade with neighbouring Russia of one billion roubles (USD 15.7 million) a day, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said.

Thursday, February 20

The first case of COVID-19 related death reported in Middle East. Iran’s health ministry says two people have died after preliminary tests came back as positive for the new coronavirus disease, COVID-19. They were the first two suspected cases of COVID-19 to be announced in Iran.

COVID-19 has now killed more than 2, 120 people, all but six of them in mainland China. It has infected more than 75, 000 people.

The passengers aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan began disembarking after a 14-day quarantine. A total of 624 cases of the virus are linked to the ship, many of whom were released previously, having not shown symptoms.

The Chinese Government has revoked the press credentials of three Wall Street Journal reporters, due to an opinion piece that was published earlier this month, titled ‘China is the real sick man of Asia’. This is the largest such expulsion of overseas media from the country in recent years.

Wednesday, February 19

COVID-19 has infected over 75, 000 people around the globe. The death toll has now surpassed the 2 ,000  mark. 

Around 14, 555 people have recovered from the infection.

United Nations Secretary -General Antonio Guterres said the COVID-19 outbreak is not yet out of control, but it has become a “very dangerous situation”.

Russia is to suspend entry of Chinese citizens for employment, private, educational and tourist purposes from Thursday.

The 43-year-old Chinese patient who contracted COVID-19 and was treated at a National Infectious Disease Hospital was discharged this morning, having recovered fully. The patient was admitted on Jan 27.

Tuesday, February 18

COVID-19 has infected 73,332 confirmed cases while the death toll now stands at 1,873. Around 12,000 people have recovered from the infection globally.

Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO chief, said data from China had helped form a “clearer picture of the outbreak” and that it appeared that four out of five people infected would recover.

“More than 80% of patients have mild disease and will recover, 14% have severe disease including pneumonia and shortness of breath, 5% have critical disease including respiratory failure, septic shock and multi-organ failure, and 2% of cases are fatal,. The risk of death increases the older you are,” he said.

Apple has warned of a shortage of iPhones due to factory closures in China.

Monday, February 17

COVID-19 has infected 71, 334 people in 29 countries and territories. The death toll now is 1,775.

The U.S. Government has evacuated more than 300 Americans from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan, which has been quarantined for weeks. Canada, Italy and Hong Kong are also sending evacuation flights for their citizens.

Sunday, February 16

COVID-19 has infected more than 71, 000 people globally, mostly in mainland China. The death toll is 1, 770.

President Xi Jinping has said he knew about COVID-19 outbreak, despite international criticism against him, nearly two weeks before he first spoke publicly about it. In a speech he said that he had “issued requirements for the prevention and control of the disease” on 7 January.

A Chinese tourist who tested positive for the virus died in France. This is the first COVID-19 related death reported in Europe.

Saturday, February 15

The death toll in mainland China has risen to at least 1, 523 with 66, 899 confirmed infections from COVID-19.

China says over 1, 700 medical workers have been infected by COVID-19, of which six have died.

Egypt has announced its first case of COVID-19, marking the first confirmed instance of the virus in Africa.

Friday, February 14

The death toll in mainland China from Covid-19 has risen to at least 1, 488  with 51, 986 confirmed infections.

The WHO has said that a spike of 14, 000 Covid-19 cases in China yesterday (Thursday, 13) was the result of new counting methods and did not represent a significant shift in the outbreak.

Thursday, February 13

The death toll in mainland China continues to climb with 1, 113 deaths and 44, 653 infections recorded. Two deaths have been recorded outside mainland China - one in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines. 

The UK has confirmed its ninth case of Covid-19, saying the latest patient - the first in London - had caught the virus while in China.

The WHO has cautioned against assuming when Covid-19 may have peaked or when it might end, saying it was “way too early” to say, even after a drop in the number of new cases recorded.

Pope Francis has prayed for victims of China’s coronavirus., calling it a cruel disease. “A prayer goes out to our Chinese brothers and sisters who are suffering from such a cruel disease,” the pontiff said during his weekly general audience at the Vatican.

Japan reported its first death from Covid-19. The victim is an 80-year-old woman living in Kanagawa prefecture, which borders Tokyo.

Wednesday, February 12

The WHO has officially named the novel coronavirus ‘Covid-19’.

The global death toll from Covid-19 is at least 1, 107 with 43, 101 confirmed cases.

Tuesday, February 11

The new coronavirus has killed a total of 1, 013 globally, the Chinese government confirmed this morning.
The number of confirmed infections in mainland China stood at 42, 500 at the end of Monday. 

Eight people have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK out of 1,114 tested. The UK Government has declared that the new coronavirus represents a serious and imminent threat to public health. 

British Airways has extended the suspension of flights serving Chinese cities amid concerns over the spread of the virus.

Monday, February 10

The new coronavirus has killed 910 people globally, the vast majority in mainland China, and infected more than 40, 000 people.

Chen Qiushi, a citizen journalist who had been posting critical reports from inside Wuhan, went missing last Thursday. Police revealed he was forced in quarantine, sparking online pleas for his release.

A WHO team has left for China to assist with containing the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Sunday, February 9

The death toll from NCP has risen to at least 813. The last United Kingdom repatriation flight left Wuhan with over 200 passengers, including government officials and British nationals.

According to a study published in the medical journal JAMA, 41% of the first 138 patients diagnosed at one hospital in Wuhan, were presumed to be infected in that hospital.

China’s National Health Commission has given the novel coronavirus a temporary name: Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia, or NCP.

Saturday, February 8

The death toll from the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV has risen to at least 805. The vast majority of deaths are reported from mainland China. Globally, the virus has infected more than 34, 400 across 28 countries.

The number of fatalities from the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV has officially surpassed the deadly SARS outbreak of 2001, which killed 774 people and infected 8,000.

The WHO has said it will send an international team to investigate the outbreak in China, next week.

Friday, February 7

Li Wenliang, the Wuhan doctor who was targeted by police for trying to sound the alarm about the coronavirus outbreak in December, died from the infection late last night.

More than 7,300 people are currently quarantined on two cruise ships off Hong Kong and Japan after former passengers were confirmed to have the virus.

Thousands of medical workers in Hong Kong have been on strike for five days, demanding the government close all borders with mainland China and take further emergency measures against the virus.

Thursday, February 6

The death toll from the novel coronavirus has risen to 563. 73 people died from the virus in the 24 hours to midnight, China's National Health Commission said today.

Schools in Shanghai have been forbidden to open before the end of February, in a government effort to contain the novel coronavirus.

In the United States, 350 American evacuees from Wuhan have been placed under quarantine at two military bases in California, Reuters reports. This is the second batch of evacuees from Wuhan. 

The figure brings to nearly 400 the number of people subject to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s first public health quarantine in 50 years.

Wednesday, February 5

The death toll from the novel coronavirus outbreak in China has risen to 490. The number of confirmed infections in China has risen to 24,324.

Wuhan has started a city-wide sterilisation campaign in an effort to curb the spread of the infection. 

The Hong Kong health department has announced that 30 members of a cruise ship, carrying 1,800 people are showing symptoms of 2019-nCoV, including fever. The ship was docked in Hong Kong after it was refused entry to Taiwan. 

Tuesday, February 4

Head of the World Health Organisation, Tedros Adhanom, has accused some wealthy countries of being “well behind” in sharing data on novel coronavirus cases, calling for more global solidarity to combat the virus. 

France’s government joined the United Kingdom in warning against any non-essential travel to China and suggesting that all of its citizens in China leave while the new virus is still spreading. 

The WHO’s chief of Global Infections Hazard Preparedness Silvie Briand says the UN health agency has teamed up with Google and other social media outlets to help fight an ‘infodemic’ about the viral outbreak.

Monday, February 3

The number of confirmed deaths from the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV has risen to 361, exceeding the country’s death toll from the 2003 SARS outbreak. 

Russia begins evacuating over 600 of its citizens from Wuhan and Hubei. 

Chinese stock and commodity markets fall, as investors dump risky assets in response to rising fears about the outbreak.

Sunday, Feb 2 

The first fatality outside China is reported from the Philippines. The deceased patient was a resident of Wuhan, China and had travelled to the Philippines where he began showing symptoms. 

Three days after India first detects the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV, a second case is reported from Kerala. 

Saturday, February 1 

Chinese national first detected with the coronavirus in Sri Lanka declared healthy by Health Director-General of the IDH. 

Sri Lanka successfully repatriates students stranded in Wuhan, China. Students will be quarantined for two weeks at the Diyatalawa Army Camp. 

The death toll from 2019-nCoV climbs to 258 in China. 

Friday, January 31

At the conclusion of an International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee meeting, the WHO declared 2019-nCoV a public health emergency of international concern. 

Thursday, January 30 

India confirms first case of novel coronavirus - detected in a student returned from Wuhan, China. 

The World Health Organisation has said, ‘the whole world needs to be on alert now. The whole world needs to take action and be ready for any cases that come from the epicentre or epicentres that are established’. 

Death toll from the new coronavirus has climbed to 170 from 132 — a rise of 29%, overnight. Confirmed cases are now at 7,711. Mortality rate is about 2%. 

The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) has introduced a syrup and a powder made by the Indigenous Medicine Department to enhance immunity against all infectious diseases, including the new coronavirus. The products are available free of charge at all of the CMC’s 20 ayurvedic dispensaries. 

Wednesday, January 29 

The National Infectious Disease Hospital says the 43-year-old Chinese woman who tested positive for coronavirus in Sri Lanka is recovering. 

Despite sustained effort, Sri Lanka has not yet received clearance to evacuate the 32 Sri Lankan students stranded in locked down Wuhan City.

A number of airlines have suspended flight to China over concerns relating to the novel coronavirus. British Airways, United Airlines, Air Asia, Cathay Pacific, Air India and Finnair among the airline that have stopped and reduced flights. 

A family returning to the United Arab Emirates from Wuhan City has been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus. The virus has now spread to over 15 countries. 

A Japanese plane evacuating citizens from virus-hit Wuhan, arrives in Tokyo. 

Responding to a shortage of face masks, the government imposes a maximum retail price of Rs. 15 on disposable face masks and Rs. 150 on N95 masks. 

Americans evacuated from Wuhan City, pass coronavirus health screening test upon returning to the U.S.

Tuesday, January 28

The death toll from the novel coronavirus now stands at 131 in mainland China. Over 200 are in critical condition while over 4,500 cases have been reported globally. 

Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith announced that if Sri Lanka’s measures to contain the novel coronavirus fails, the Archdiocese will make a decision on closing Catholic schools in the country.

Sri Lanka Embassy in Beijing reports that over 200 Sri Lankan students have left China. Sri Lankan embassy is in constant touch with the remaining 33 students in Wuhan City via WeChat. 

The Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka has advised Chinese tourists from areas affected by the novel coronavirus to postpone any trips they may have wanted to make Sri Lanka. Also advise nationals from affected areas already in Sri Lanka to change travel plans and avoid crowded places. 

The Health Ministry introduces two hotlines to answer any questions the public may have about the new coronavirus: 0710170717/ 0113071073

Health Minister Wanniarachchi announces that all students arriving from Wuhan City, China will be quarantined at the Diyatalawa Army Camp for two weeks. 

Government announces that twelve hospitals – the IDH, the Negombo General Hospital, the Gampaha General Hospital, the Kandy General Hospital, the Kalubowila General Hospital, the Karapitiya General Hospital, the Anuradhapura General Hospital, the Jaffna General Hospital, the General Hospital, the Kurunegala General Hospital, the Ratnapura General Hospital, the Badulla General Hospital and the Batticaloa General Hospital have been prepared to deal with any further cases of the infection. 

Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi orders on-arrival-visa facilities for Chinese nationals temporarily suspended. Decision made to allow only passengers into the airport premises. 

Monday, January 27

The Journal of American Medical Association article on the new coronavirus says, ‘so far, it appears that the fatality rate of 2019-nCoV is lower than that of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV’. It adds the ultimate effects of the infection yet to be seen. 

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations says it is working with the World Health Organisation and several other institutions to develop vaccines against the new coronavirus. 

The Department of Immigration and Emigration has been placed under the Ministry of Defence. 

All passengers arriving at the BIA from China are being sent through a specially designated gate as a precautionary measure to prevent patients infected with the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV entering the country. 

The President’s Office announces that a group of 21 Sri Lankan students in China have left for Sri Lanka. Says that those who arrive from China will be asked to attend regular medical screening. 

The 22-member National Action Committee has been set up to prevent the new coronavirus from spreading in the country. The Action Committee, which comprises the Health Minister and senior Health, Pharmaceutical, Army, Civil Aviation, Epidemiology, Medical Research and Immigration and Emigration officers, will meet at 5 PM today.  

The Health Ministry advises the public NOT to panic. The Ministry announces that those with flu symptoms should first visit doctor/ hospital for treatment and says that  ONLY if referred for further testing AND tested positive will be moved to the National Infectious Diseases Hospital.

The Director-General of Health Dr Anil Jasinghe says the Chinese female was a tourist, who arrived in a group. She had developed the fever just before the group left Sri Lanka, which was when she was admitted to the IDH.

The first patient is reportedly a Chinese female who arrived in Sri Lanka from the Hubei Province, China and was admitted to the IDH with suspect 2019-nCoV.  While initial tests had proven negative, further testing has proven positive with the virus. 

BREAKING: The Health Promotion Bureau reports the first case of novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV in Sri Lanka. The Bureau says that authorities are responding fast and cautions against unnecessary panic. 

Sunday, January 26

Tests carried out at the MRI have confirmed that the four people, including one Chinese, who were admitted to the IDH are NOT infected with 2019-nCoV.

Foreign Affairs Ministry announces the Sri Lankan embassy in Beijing has submitted an application to land a SriLankan Airlines aircraft in Wuhan city to airlift 32 Sri Lankan students and their family members stranded there. 

President’s Media Division reports that steps taken to bring back 150 Sri Lankan students from Sichuan province in China through a special SriLankan Airlines charter flight within the next 48 hours. 

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa orders the formation of a National Action Committee to prevent the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV from entering or spreading in Sri Lanka.  

Saturday, January 25

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed Foreign Secretary Ravinath Aryasinha and national carrier SriLankan Airlines to take necessary steps to repatriate the Sri Lankan students in Wuhan. 

Meanwhile, at home, the Sri Lankan embassy in Beijing says it is prepared to evacuate 33 Sri Lankan students and their families — if the necessity arises — to protect them from the virus.

The media statement made by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Beijing. Photo credit: Sri Lanka Embassy in China

First cases of 2019-nCoV reported from Europe: France has confirmed that three patients have been diagnosed with the new coronavirus.

Two persons, including a Chinese woman, have been admitted to the National Institute of Infectious Disease (IDH) in Colombo on suspicion of being infected with the new coronavirus 2019-nCoV. Medical samples have been sent to the Medical Research Institute (MRI). 

Friday, January 24

Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi has reassured the public that all necessary steps have been taken to prevent the 2019-nCoV from entering the island.

The Foreign Ministry announces that the Sri Lankan embassy in Beijing is closely monitoring the developing situation. Says the embassy has created a WeChat group to disseminate information to Sri Lankans living in Wuhan City, and is exploring the possibility of evacuating them. 

Thursday, January 23

Wuhan City, shuts down public transport to contain the virus. 

Sri Lanka has decided to install three thermal scanners at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) to detect those running a temperature that could possibly be symptomatic of the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV. 

The thermal scanners installed at the BIA. Photo credits: Daily News

Monday, January 20

The World Health Organisation (WHO) decides to convene an Emergency Committee on January 22 to discuss the 2019-nCoV that is fast spreading in China (and which had by then spread to Thailand and Japan), under the International Health Regulations, a legal instrument that binds 194 countries to ‘prevent, protect against, control and provide a public health response to the international spread of disease…’. 

Sunday, January 12

The Ministry of Public Health in Thailand reports a case of the virus that is now being called 2019-nCoV. This is the first time the infection has been detected outside of China.

Friday, January 10

In a little more than a week since the virus was detected, Chinese researchers are able to release genetic material of the virus after sequencing it in laboratories. Made public, this information allows potential study and development of a vaccine or treatment. 

Saturday, January 4

The virus has infected over 40 people within a span of four days. Health authorities are unable to understand the cause of the illness. 

Tuesday, December 31

The World Health Organisation (WHO) country office has been informed that clusters of an unknown form of pneumonia is being detected in Wuhan City, in Hubei Province, China.

Editor's Note—The term 'novel coronavirus' was updated to 'COVID-19' after the coronavirus was named.