On 15 May 2019, Dinamina reported Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara making the following statement:
Deaths reported as being due to drowning are about 800 annually.
Exhibit 1 shows that the annual number of cases from 2010 to 2014 where the cause of death is reported as accidental drowning and submersion. This was the latest data that FactCheck was able to find from the data that was accessible from the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS). FactCheck has not been able to find later data from the Registrar General’s Department, the World Health Organization or the Life Saving Association of Sri Lanka.
The five-year average for the number of deaths due to accidental drowning and submersion was 813, and the three-year average was 786. The minister does not cite a specific year along with his figure, but he cites an annual rate. It is noted that, despite the lack of data since 2015, the most recent data available aligns with the minister’s claim.
Therefore, we classify his statement as TRUE.
*FactCheck’s verdict is based on the most recent information that is publicly accessible. As with every fact check, if new information becomes available, FactCheck will revisit the assessment.
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