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Tracing all Brandix contacts made difficult by quarantine restrictions: Police

ECONOMYNEXT – Quarantine restrictions have made tracing all contacts of the growing Brandix COVID-19 cluster difficult, police spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana said.

Rohana told the privately owned Derana TV today that health workers could not obtain statements from all 1,552 Brandix workers who are currently either in hospital or quarantine due to strict quarantine regulations, complicating the task of contact tracing.

However, once the 28-day quarantine period is over, he said, authorities will obtain the required information including contact details as well as any precautionary measures followed at the Brandix apparel factory in Minuwangoda.

In the interview, Rohana made an open appeal to close associates of the identified Brandix staffers who are in quarantine or hospital to “think about the country” and inform the police if they had come into contact with anyone working at the factory.

The police spokesman also said that the authorities have investigated a controversial flight reportedly charted by Brandix that arrived from Visakhapatnam, India on September 22, carrying Sri Lankan workers at a Brandix factory in Visakhapatnam.

Out of 60 scheduled passengers, said Rohana, only 48 – 39 males and 9 females – had arrived. The group had also included four children.

The Sri Lanka Army had directed all of the arrivals to a hotel in Kosgoda for a 14-day quarantine that ended on October 6, he said.

“They had taken PCR tests before departure in India, on arrival and 14 days after arrival. They are currently undergoing self-quarantine in their homes. They have no connection to this,” he said.

Meanwhile, two bands that are said to have performed for the workers have also been directed to quarantine centres, and subsequent PCR tests on the bands have revealed no connection to the cluster, said Rohana.

He added that according to statements taken from the workers, COVID-19 symptoms were seen in some workers on September 18,19 and 20 even before the flight arrived on September 22 and before the bands played on September 26 and 27. (Colombo/Oct12/2020)

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