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Sri Lanka expands Coronavirus hospitals, traces contacts in factory Covid-19 cluster

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has expanded Covid-19 treatment capacity adding the Neville Fernando hospital in Colombo and others to battle a new cluster in which over 1,000 Coronavirus cases have been confirmed and more contacts are being traced.

Hospitals in Homagama, Colombo East, Kamburugamuwa, Hikkaduwa would also be added as Coronavirus treatment hospitals.

Exam Process

Sri Lanka is also going ahead with a national year 05 examination and a high school advanced level examination.

“The health authorities will provide all support to conduct the examination,” Sri Lanka’s chief epidemiologist Sudath Samaraweera said facilities.

“Our intention is also to help the public conduct their day-to-day activities. We are certain that this exam can be done.

“But all health rules should be followed. Wash hands, do not get close in groups.”

Samaraweera said separate facilities will be provided to any student who shows any fever or respiratory symptoms.

By 1800hours of October 07 Sri Lanka had confirmed 1034 infections in the cluster linked to a factory in Minuwangoda Gamapha, with 04 employees and two contacts, the state information office said.

An employee at a factory in Welisara and an airport worker had also come forward to be tested because of being at the same boarding house with a factory employee.

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Sri Lanka’s total confirmed cases had risen to 4,459, the health ministry said.

Cluster Battle

Coronavirus tests of all permanent employees have been conducted and about 150 contractors and suppliers are being tested today, Sri Lanka’s Military Chief Shavendra Silva told Sri Lanka’s Derana Television.

General Silva said health authorities had said that the viral load of the positive patients had been relatively high increasing the chances of infection.

Coronavirus patients had been found in multiple districts and members of the public should be careful and follow health guidelines, he said.

Sri Lanka has imposed lockdown style curfews in several areas of the Gampaha district where there factory was located.

“Members of the public who are outside of the areas where curfews had been imposed should exercise caution, wear masks and avoid non-essential travel,” he said.

“When someone goes home they will meet others, go to the shop and travel in three wheelers.”

Results will come later on Thursday General Silva said. Some remaining family members of workers are being quarantined today, he said.

Some workers of the Minuwangoda factory who were tested whose had tested positive not in quarantine had been asked to report to authorities.

On Wednesday 275 had reported to designated places, Deputy Inspector General Ajith Rohana said.

Source Search

Authorities are searching for the source of the infection at the factory.

A doctor at Gampaha hospital is also suspected with having the disease a media report said.

The report quoted Priyantha Illeperuma, a hospital administrator as saying the incident was being probed and no direct link had been found with the factory cluster.

Brandix, the apparel group of the Minuwangoda factory said it employees from a factory in India had returned to Sri Lanka in three charter flights but none had visited the factory.

“We operated three chartered flights from Visakhapatnam, India for our Sri Lankan employees working in India and their families, who returned to Sri Lanka,” the firm said.

“We confirm that they, including their families, followed the Sri Lanka Government protocol for the prevention and control of COVID-19, which includes PCR testing and a 14-day mandatory quarantine at a government regulated quarantine facility, as well as the 14-day self-quarantine process done under the supervision of the respective PHIs.”

General Silva said 48 returnees had been quarantined under military supervision and released after testing. (Colombo/Oct08/2020 – Update II)