Millennium Post

Curfew extended in several areas in Sri Lanka after COVID-19 cluster detected

Colombo: The Sri Lankan authorities have extended police curfew in nearly 20 more areas in the western provincial Gampaha district, the COVID-19 task force said on Wednesday, a day after a new virus cluster of over 800 factory workers was detected in the area.

The Ministry of Health on Tuesday prohibited public gatherings until further notice. Public service institutions have been asked to impose strict COVID-19 measures to restrict the spread of the virus.

An indefinite curfew was imposed in two areas of the district on Sunday after an employee of a garment export factory was infected. The factory has over 1,000 workers.

The PCR tests conducted on the factory workers have found that over 800 of the employees are infected with COVID-19.

The police curfew, which was imposed to restricted areas of the district, has been further extended to cover nearly 20 more new areas, the COVID-19 prevention task force said. It is headed by Army Commander Shavendra Silva.

With the detection of new cases, the country has reverted to observing the same COVID-19 protocols as during the height of the pandemic from March to June.

The government advanced the mid-year school vacation by four days from October 6.The authorities have warned the public to be agile to contain the spread of the virus.

With the initial outbreak of the pandemic, the island nation went into a lockdown since mid-March which was lifted in May.

Chief epidemiologist Sudath Samaraweera said the factory employees had origins to multiple districts and they have created many contacts that need to be traced.

The health authorities have successfully curbed two previous big clusters, one in the Sri Lanka Navy and another in a drug rehabilitation centre.

According to the Johns Hopkins data, Sri Lanka has reported 4,252 COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths.

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