COVID-19 Deaths in Sri Lanka

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Rifthi Ali 

The spread of COVID-19 is intensified by the day in Sri Lanka. As a result, the COVID-19 death toll is also constantly on the rise.

The Director General of Health Services, Dr. Asela Gunawardane issues daily announcements of COVID-19 deaths through the Government Information Department.

However, the Ministry of Health has not released any analytical or detailed report regarding these deaths.

Therefore, a written request was submitted to the Deputy Director General incharge of the Public Health Services of the Ministry of Health on March 5th,  requesting further information about the Covid-19 deaths in Sri Lanka. The Deputy Director General had instructed the then Director of the Epidemiology unit under the Ministry, Dr. Sudath Samaraweera, to respond to this request. 

However, no response was released during the month in which the request was made. Therefore, this matter was brought  to the direct attention of the then Director of the Department of Infectious Diseases, Dr. Sudath Samaraweera, in mid April 2021. 

Although he had mentioned that a response would be made as soon as possible, this was not immediately met due to the travel restrictions imposed in the country following the third wave of the Covid-19 outbreak. 

In this context, the information request was answered by an email on 8th June  2021  by the then Director of the Department of Infectious Diseases, Dr. Sudath Samaraweera.

The Ministry of Health stated that more than 80% of the Covid-19 deaths were caused due to the effects of other diseases.  

The Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health said that, as at May 28th, 2021 1,363 people had died due to Covid-19, of which 1,138 had died due to other diseases, 196 had died without any other diseases and 29 deaths were without any major cause.

The Epidemiology unit reported that out of the overall COVID-19 deaths reported up until 28th of May 2021, 625 were diabetes patients, 583 were high blood pressure patients, 242 were patients with heart diseases and 227 were patients with kidney diseases.

Moreover, the data provided by the Epidemiology unit of the Ministry of Health under the Right to Information Act stated that 165 COVID-19 deaths had occurred at Homagama Hospital, which specializes in treating kidney patients affected by the COVID -19 infection. 

In addition, 111 COVID-19 infected patients had died at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (IDH), 70 at the National Hospital, 69 at the Mulleriyawa Base Hospital and 64 at the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital .

Meanwhile, 766 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in the Western Province and a minimum of 09 COVID-19 deaths  have been reported in the Eastern Province. The highest number of 403 COVID-19 deaths were reported in the Colombo district.

Also, no COVID-19 deaths were reported from Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts until 28th May.

Meanwhile, 950 of the COVID-19victims were Sinhalese, 245 were Moors, 157 were Tamils, 04 were Burgers and 07 were foreigners. The COVID-19 death toll includes a total of 814 males and 549 females.

In addition, 1,044 COVID-19 patients had died in hospitals and quarantine centers, while 115 had died during the admissions to hospitals. A total of 195 COVID-19 patients had died at homes, and 09 had died on the streets and elsewhere due to COVID-19 infection.  

In addition, 1,037 of  the COVID-19  deaths were over the age of 60, 18 were under the age of 30 and 308 were between the ages of 30 -59 .

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