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First coronavirus case confirmed in Jaffna after church service

A patient in Jaffna has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, after he reportedly spent time with a pastor who delivered a service at a church in the district. 

The director of Jaffna Teaching Hospital T. Sathiyamoorthy confirmed that the patient had reportedly been in close contact with the pastor at the Philadelphia Missionary Church in Ariyalai, where he delivered a service to approximately 150 people. The pastor is currently receiving treatment in Switzerland where he is based, after testing positive for a coronavirus infection.

"Several persons attended the prayer meet which the pastor conducted and this person was in the pastor's room closely moving with him,” said Sathiyamoorthy.

File photograph: A service at the Philadelphia Missionary Church

"The person in the special unit of the Jaffna Teaching Hospital in isolation and being carefully watched by medical staff,” he added. 

"I praise the medical staff who came forward to help at this dire emergency at a time like this. And we will be testing all who participated in the prayer meet and medical precautions are being taken".