The Health Ministry has issued a clarification stating that the death toll in last Sunday's attacks stands at nearly 253 and not at 359 as declared previously in the aftermath of the incident.
Issuing a press release, Health Services Director General Dr. Anil Jayasinghe said that the exact number of deaths cannot be determined since certain bodies were found in a deformed state following the explosions.
However, the number of injured persons due to the incidents which was recorded as 485 has been reduced to 149 as of today (Apr 25). A total of six persons had succumebd to their injuries while receiving treatment upon admission to various hospitals, Dr. Jayasinghe noted.
He said that the previous figures on the number of deaths as at April 22 was announced as more than 280 after considering 29 remains at the Batticaloa Teaching Hospital, 102 at the Meegamuwa Base Hospital, seven at the Colombo North Teaching Hospital, three at the Colombo South Teaching Hospital and 140 remains which lay at the Colombo Chief Magistrate Court's Chief Judicial Officer's morgue.
Dr. Jayasinghe observed that the bodies of foreigners who had died in the explosions need to be handed over to their families who are yet to arrive from their native countries. In case of failure to do so, the respective Embassies of the countries belonging to the deceased will have to identify the bodies, the Health Services Director General said. He further noted that there was a difficulty in distinguishing the bodies of Asians according to their countries due to the similar skin colour.
However, the number of bodies at the morgue belonging to the Colombo Chief Magistrates Court has now reduced to 114 while the number of bodies at the Batticaloa Teaching Hospital has reduced to 26 from 29.