Atalugama comes under lockdown | Sunday Observer

Atalugama comes under lockdown

29 March, 2020

Two more persons from Atalugama, Bandaragama, a village currently under lockdown, were hospitalized yesterday after they displayed COVID-19 symptoms. The village was put under strict quarantine measures on Friday after the discovery of a patient in the area. According to sources the patient’s father and sister were taken away by a 1990 Suwaseriya ambulance and admitted to the Kalutara Nagoda Hospital yesterday. The patient had returned to Sri Lanka from Dubai on March 19 and had not informed the authorities as instructed, nor had he gone into self-quarantine. Instead, he had associated with a number of individuals, placing their health also at risk.

According to Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva on Thursday (26) it was confirmed that a recent returnee from abroad, a resident of Atalugama in Bandaragama had contracted COVID-19. “Thereafter we identified 26 persons he had associated with during the last few days,” he said, adding that following the discovery, a lockdown of the village was initiated to prevent a mass breakout of the disease in the village. Eight entry roads to Atalugama have now been blocked with roadblocks to prevent entry and exit from the village. People have also been prevented from entering any places visited by the COVID-19 positive patient.

Meanwhile, the Army has set up a quarantine centre in Atalugama where the 26 persons identified as associating with the patient will be quarantined for 14 days. The group was escorted to the center yesterday morning by the Army, Police and Public Health Officials. However, despite strict measures  and warnings from the officials, media personnel on the ground reported that villagers were seen gathering in groups to watch the proceedings and people being taken away to quarantine. 

“We are also now in search of any others these 26 people may have had close connections with,” the Army Commander said adding that family members of the 26 have also been put into self-quarantine following the incident. The area is currently under the observation of the Police and health officials. Health checks on several persons in the area continued yesterday.