Sri Lanka’s Katunayake Coronavirus curfew to contain Covid-19 infections from factories
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has imposed a Coronavirus curfew in Katunayake police area to reduce the chances of Covid-19 spreading from factories to the general population, authorities have said.
Sri Lanka’s Army Chief Shavendra Silva said that Katunayake Free Trade Zone workers could continue to go to work using their workplace identifications with the curfew coming into effect from 0500hours on October 15.
Health officials have been testing workers in factories in the Katunayake Free Trade Zone and other areas and taking out infected persons.
On October 15, Sri Lanka found 130 new Covid-19 infected workers with 113 coming from inside quarantine centres and 108 other contacts.
“The curfew has been imposed to stop the spread of Coronavirus under the direction of the Director General of Health Services,” Deputy Inspector General Ajith Rohana told Sri Lanka’s Derana Television.
“If this area was completely open with no curfew these workers can go to shops, use public transport and there is a higher risk of spreading the disease to others.
“The rationale is that factory staff will work inside with the necessary health rules and if there is an infection the danger of spreading the disease to others is reduced.”
Sri Lanka has imposed Coronavirus curfews in 19 police districts with the Katunayake curfew coming into effect from 0500 hours on October 15.
Sri Lanka has found at least 50 positive workers in factories, a spokesman for Sri Lanka’s anti-Coronavirus task force has said.
The factories include Chief Way, Next Manufacturing and ATG, as well as a Brandix Factory in Seeduwa, he said. Health officials are also probing other factories.
Attendance had been dropping at many of the factories and there were concerns on meeting export orders, Sri Lanka’s Export Development Board chief had said.
In Katunayake attendance had dropped to around 20 percent, according to industry officials.
Sri Lanka’s latest cluster which started at an apparel factory in Minuwangoda climbed to 1,721 with the 130 new infections on October 14, taking the total infections to 5,170.
Media reports said factories in the Katunayake Free Trade Zone had got infected from boarding places which were shared with workers from Minuwangoda area.
Clusters have been found in Next Manufacturing, Chief Way Katunayake as well as a number of other factories.
DIG Rohana said airline workers and also staff of companies involved in cargo operations could go to work and drive through the area using their staff identifications. (Colombo/Oct15/2020)