ECONOMYNEXT – A factory in the Katunayake Export Processing Zone is being sanitized and associates of a confirmed Coronavirus patient are being tested and isolated, officials said as authorities track down and trace a new COVID-19 cluster where more than a 1,000 cases have been found so far.
Military spokesman Vijitha Hettiarachchi said 150 PCR tests have been done on workers on the production line where she was working.
About 1,400 person on the floor, he said.
The confirmed person was a 38-year old woman from Rajapakshagama, Seeduwa.
An industries ministry official said Next Manufacturing, an export firm, will be closed for the weekend and sanitized after the event.
Chamila Tushari, program co-ordinator for Da Bindu, an apparel workers’ collective, said the firm had about 2,000 workers.
Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment had asked all export firms to test about 5 percent of their workforce.
As of October 09, over 1,053 persons of the Minuwangoda cluster have been found, with 19 confirmed over the last 24 hours. Sri Lanka’s total confirmed cases including imported cases from returnees rose to 4,488.
Sri Lanka has also found a nurse at a hospital in Horana, infected with Covid-19, Hettiarachchi said. She was the friend of a wife of a Covid-19 patient linked to the Brandix factory in Minuwangoda.
A pregnant woman confirmed with Coronavirus on October 08 in Rajagiriya was working at a factory in Medawelikada, which was providing service to Minuwangoda factory, health officials said said.
A Covid-19 case confirmed at the Parliamentary Services in Battaramulla was also linked to the Minuwangoda factory cluster, Sri Lanka’s Chief Epidemiologist Sudath Samaraweera had said.
Deputy Inspector General Ajith Rohana told the media that almost all workers of the factory numbering over 1,400 had reported for quarantine by Friday.
In Minuwangoda and surrounding areas where there is a curfew to limit movements, food shops, supermarkets and pharmacies are open today for people to purchase essential items.
Residents have been asked to go the shop nearest to their house. (Colombo/Oct09/2020 – Update III)