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Officials say don’t panic as number infected by newest Covid cluster climbs to 84

ECONOMYNEXT-The 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.”

“We don’t see a necessity to restrict the movements further. We hope that we can bring back normalcy as quickly as possible among the general public,” he said

Therefore, he said, that there is no need for the general public to be scared or to panic and start buying everything in supermarkets in order to stock goods at home.

Supermarket chains told EconomyNext this afternoon “there is a higher than an average number of people stocking up,” on supplies today.

“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.

Around 84 Covid 19 positive patients have emerged from a cluster forming in these three areas centred on a large apparel manufacturing plant in Minuwangoda.

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.

As of this afternoon a reported 84 people, mostly workers at the same factory have tested positive and some have been hospitalized in various parts of the country where they have gone home on leave.

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Two of them are warded in the Jaffna Teaching Hospital, two at the Kurunegala General Hospital and one in the Moneragala hospital. Officials said these employees had gone home on sick leave.

One person has tested positive in Jaela, officials said.

Officials at the National Operations Centre for the Prevention of Covid 19 said that Military Intelligence has been deployed for contact tracing.

(Colombo/Oct05/2020)

Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe and Arjuna Ranawana