Colombo, Nov 23 (Agency) Sri Lanka confirmed on Monday with the total number of COVID-19 cases exceeding 20,000 and new cases leading to 400 infections. The Health Ministry statistics showed the national tally rose to 20,171 with 87 deaths and 14,069 recoveries from the COVID-19 pandemic. There were four more deaths registered on Sunday, official data showed. Health authorities on Monday lifted the isolation status in certain areas in the capital Colombo, citing a decline in cases detected locally. Still residents in the areas with restrictions eased are urged to strictly follow all health guidelines while other areas remaining in isolation, health officials said. Following a decline seen in infections since the second wave of the coronavirus outbreak last month, all schools other than in Western Province re-opened for grades 6 to 13 on Monday after being closed from the first week of October.
Education Minister GL Peiris said strict health guidelines will be followed in all schools for the health safety of the children, and that classes from grade 1 to 5 will not reopen until further notice. Sri Lanka has made it mandatory to wear face masks and maintain social distance in public places and anyone caught breaking the rules will be punished. The South Asian country has suffered a second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak since the first week of October. More than 740,000 coronavirus tests have so far been conducted across the country. Health officials said Sri Lanka’s health care facilities were adequate to treat the increasing number of patients.