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Covid 19 cases in the latest cluster in Minuwangoda total 101 – Information Dept

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan authorities may enforce further localized curfews and lockdowns tomorrow as the number of Covid 19 positive cases from a fresh cluster connected to an apparel factory climbed to 101 this evening.

Officials at the National Operations Center for the Prevention of Covid 19 (NOCPOC) said that contact tracing of all the cases was being carried out apace with the help of the Military Intelligence and other agencies.

The Director-General Information Nalaka Kaluwewa said that no island-wide curfew is contemplated and the public was advised to get their information from official channels.

In a press release issued late tonight, Kaluwewa announced that the total number of Covid positive cases from the Brandix Minuwangoda apparel factory was at 101 as of 9: 40 pm on Monday, October 5.

Earlier this evening the NOCPOC Chief, Army Commander Lt Gen Shavendra Silva said a total of 88 positive cases had been detected from the factory staff. Of them, 69 are staff present in the factory premises.

In an update issued at 9:40 pm another 13 cases were added making the total 101.

As some of the staff had gone home on holidays during the long weekend cases have been detected in a number of cities and towns across the country.

Cases have been reported from Jaffna, Kurunegala, Monaragala, Katana Seeduwa, Divulapitiya, Meerigama, Jaela and Mahara.

Meanwhile, Health authorities are reassuring the public saying there is no reason to panic and start clearing out the shelves in supermarkets because the current outbreak of Covid 19 is in a small area of the country.

The country’s Chief Epidemiologist Dr Sudath Samaraweera told reporters today the restriction on movements of goods and people are in a small area in the country and “there is no need to curb movements in other areas.”
Supermarket chains told EconomyNext this afternoon “there is a higher than an average number of people stocking up,” on supplies today.

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“We have experience now on how to provide essential services at a time like this, so there is no need to panic and gather goods as people get jammed in such situation which is not good at the moment,” Samaraweera said.

Quarantine curfews which were upgraded to Police Curfews this afternoon are in force in the Minuwangoda, Divulapitiya and Veyangoda Police divisions after a community outbreak of Covid 19 was confirmed late Saturday night.

The first person discovered with the infection is a 39-year old Supervisor in the plant a mother of three children. Her oldest child, a 16-year-old girl has tested positive although her husband and the younger children are negative. (Colombo October 5, 2020)

Reported by Arjuna Ranawana