Minuwangoda coronavirus cluster tops 2000

115 new cases reported on Saturday; 170 cases confirmed in the Katunayake Export Processing Zone

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COLOMBO – Sri Lanka’s expanding Minuwangoda coronavirus cluster reached 2014 on Saturday (17) with 115 cases confirmed during the day, the Department of Government Information said.

Six individuals from overseas were also confirmed as COVID-19 positive by 7:30 p.m. Saturday, taking the day’s tally to 121 and Sri Lanka’s tally to 5,475, with 2,067 under medical care at designated hospitals.

Meanwhile, the infection had made inroads into the Katunayake Export Process Zone, with the number of COVID-19 cases topping 170.

Health officials said more cases were also found in the capital Colombo over the last two days,

Authorities had confirmed two positive cases at the Colombo Dockyard, a shipbuilding company located inside the port, and 50 families at a port staff housing complex in Bloemendal were placed on isolation, Ruwan Wijayamuni, the chief medical officer of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) said.

The second Dockyard workers had tested positive after travelling to Galle, where he had visited a supermarket. He had done a PCR test after learning that his friend had been confirmed.

In 4th Cross Street, Colombo Fort, a businessman and his daughter were confirmed as COVID-19 positive.

However, PCR test done on the mayor, members and municipal workers, had turned out negative.  The tests had been done following a staff member at a unit testing positive earlier in the week, during a random test.

Meanwhile, health officials said two wards and the  Intensive Care Unit at the Kuliyapitiya Hospital had been closed after a patient was confirmed as COVID-19 positive.

Sri Lanka’s anti-Covid operations centre said movements have been restricted in several areas following the incident.

It said an infected patient had been at a wedding linked to a Brandix employee, where the groom later tested positive for the virus. The individual had also attended a Church service in the Meegahakotuwa area, where there had been about 50 persons.

Health officials maintained all confirmed cases so far had some link to the Minuwangoda factory, though initially people may not know the link, especially if they were third level contacts.

Army Commander Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva who also heads the anti-Covid task force, said the Minuwangoda factory cluster could data back to at least September 15 or 23, though the first case was confirmed on October 4.

An increasing number of COVID-19 cases are also being detected in factories in the Katunayake Export Processing Zone and in areas outside the Zone.

Vice President of Sri Lanka’s Public Health Inspectors’ Union, K. U. T. Kulathilake told reporters that over 170 cases had been confirmed in factories so far with 45 new cases confirmed on Friday (16).

The Director General of the Board of Investment Sanjaya Mohottala had said that over 7,000 tests had been carried over the week.

Over 400 tests had been done on Saturday, Kulathilake said.

-ENCL/economynext.com

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