COLOMBO, May 5 (Xinhua) -- The total number of COVID-19 infected patients in Sri Lanka surpassed the 115,000-mark on Wednesday after over 1,800 new patients were identified a day earlier, statistics from the Health Ministry showed.
According to official figures, the total number of positive patients reached 115,590, out of which 99,163 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals, and 709 deaths have been reported from the virus.
Sri Lanka has been facing a rapid rise in COVID-19 patients with over 1,000 patients being detected daily within the past six days, health officials said.
The country's Epidemiology Unit said that a new variant of the COVID-19 was rapidly spreading across the country and this new variant had now become airborne.
Hospitals and Intensive Care Units were filled to the maximum with the rising number of patients and Army Commander Shavendra Silva said on Wednesday that the army would assist in setting up more treatment centers in the affected areas which would add a 10,000 hospital bed capacity.
According to doctors on the scene, more youngsters were being admitted with the new variant, needing oxygen and critical care.
The Health Ministry has maintained that oxygen supplies were in stock but would look at importing it from Singapore and other countries if the necessity arises in the future.
Sri Lanka has shut schools islandwide and has urged people to stay and work from home and strictly adhere to health guidelines if leaving their homes.