More details on the Matara COVID-19 case

2020-09-26 at 17:12

Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Sudath Samaraweera says the Russian Airline crew member who tested positive for COVID-19 while in Matara recently, had contracted the novel coronavirus on a previous occasion and had recovered from the virus.

Issuing a special statement, Dr. Samaraweera noted that anti-body tests conducted on the Russian crew member had confirmed that he was infected by the novel coronavirus on a previous occasion.

Dr. Samaraweera noted that the infected Russian national was admitted to the Hambantota hospital for treatment after the initial positive PCR test.

He said during the preliminary test, only a small sample of novel coronavirus was recorded. Dr. Sudath Samaraweera said during the tests conducted on the 24th and the 25th of September, he had tested negative. He said such developments are a common occurrence especially if an individual had a mild case of COVID-19.

Dr. Sudath Samaraweera said during PCR tests such persons can return positive results despite the recovery.

He said following the confirmation that the Russian national cannot be categorised as an active case, officials have decided to discharged him from the Hambantota hospital.

The Chief Epidemiologist noted that officials also permitted the remaining crew members who were in quarantine to leave the country as per existing regulations.

He expected the Russian national in question will also leave the island in the near future.

Meanwhile, Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Sudath Samaraweera noted that a decision should be taken pertaining to quarantine measures of overseas arrivals and also regarding those involved in the Matara incident.

He added hotel authorities were in direct contact with the airline crew members and therefore will remain in isolation.

Dr. Samaraweera is of the view since there is uncertainty over the infected Russian national, all hotel staff will undergo a 14-day quarantine period.

He however noted that relatives of the hotel staff will not require to be in isolation.

Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Sudath Samaraweera said during the incident officials have noticed that the quarantine regulations were violated and action will be taken to prevent such incidents in future.