Contingency plans in place as new cluster emerges in Gampaha

By Vyshnavy Velrajh

Contingency plans have been put in place as a new coronavirus cluster emerges in the Gampaha District.

Head of the National Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 (NOCPC), Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva told Colombo Gazette that the public have been requested to curtail non-essential travel and gatherings from today.

He said those who require to venture outdoors should strictly follow the guidelines issued by the Health Ministry, such as washing hands and wearing face masks.

When inquired by the Colombo Gazette if an all island lockdown or temporary travel restrictions will be imposed due to the current outbreak, the Army Commander said that at present it was not necessary.

He added that however, if required, contingency plans have been drawn up to impose lockdowns in stages depending on the development of the situation.

A Police curfew was imposed in the Divulapitiya, Minuwangoda, and Veyangoda areas in the Gampaha district after a female supervisor from a private apparel manufacturing factory in Minuwangoda was detected with the virus in Divulapitiya over the weekend.

Sixty-nine employees out of 150 who had come into contact with the supervisor were reported to have contracted the coronavirus as of today.

Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva earlier said 1400 PCR tests on all staff at the factory will be conducted today, while measures have already been taken to place in quarantine those who had come into contact with the infected employees. 

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has announced that it has taken a decision to conduct nearly 2000 PCR tests within today on the employees of the private apparel manufacturing factory in Minuwangoda.

The Ministry said that the PCR tests will also include those who had come into contact, including school children, with the employees of the factory covering the Minuwangoda and Divulapitiya areas in the Gampaha districts.

The Health Promotion Bureau also introduced a 24-hour COVID-19 hotline number today.

The public can contact the Bureau via the hotline 1999 to inquire about any information regarding the coronavirus. (Colombo Gazette)

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