Sri Lanka has confirmed a cluster of more than 550 garment factory workers infected with coronavirus, days after reporting its first community infection in two months.
The health ministry said all 321 people infected are co-workers of the first patient, who was diagnosed at a hospital two days ago and was from the densely populated Western province.
The cluster in the suburbs of Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo was identified despite the government saying it has successfully controlled the spreading of the virus.
Trying to contain the spread of the virus, the government imposed a curfew in two suburbs where the majority of patients live, closed schools and universities, and imposed restrictions on public transport.
For more than two months, Sri Lanka health officials have been saying that they have prevented a community spread of the virus and that the patients being reported belonged to two known clusters.
The country has reported 3,471 patients with 13 deaths.Of the total patients, 3,259 have recovered.
Brandix issues statement
Brandix says a majority of its staff who tested positive for the coronavirus, did not show symptoms.
A total of 1,394 Brandix employees of the Minuwangoda facility had been tested for COVID-19 yesterday, 5th October 2020, during which some waiting time was experienced due to the large quantity of tests to be completed.
“Thus far, 567 employees have been confirmed positive. One of the main challenges that we have regrettably experienced throughout this process is that a majority of the positive cases have proven to be asymptomatic or lacking display of symptoms associated with COVID-19,” Brandix said in a statement today.
Brandix says it continues to engage with the relevant authorities and are doing their utmost to look into the care of those affected while transferring their family members and close contacts to quarantine centers.
Meanwhile, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed relevant parties to take immediate measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 following the identification of close associates of the affected and to increase the number of PCR tests.
He also advised the government to raise awareness campaigns carried out in the country to educate the public through mass media.
Instructions have been issued to carry out random PCR tests in every district, especially organisations where a large number of people are employed.