AG instructs IGP to probe COVID-19 spread from Brandix

By Easwaran Rutnam

Attorney General (AG) Dappula de Livera has instructed acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) C.D. Wickremeratne to investigate the spread of the coronavirus from the Brandix factory in Minuwangoda.

Nishara Jayaratne, the co-ordinating officer to the AG said that the acting IGP has been instructed to submit a progress report on the investigation in two weeks.

“The AG had advised the acting IGP to probe if there was negligence on the part of Brandix resulting in the spread of the virus,” Jayaratne said.

The acting IGP has been instructed to appoint a team of experienced Police officers to conduct the investigation.

A 39-year-old woman from the factory who had been admitted to the Gampaha hospital with a fever earlier this month had tested positive for the coronavirus.

PCR tests later found that several employees of the factory had contracted the virus.

Brandix was later accused of failing to prevent the spread of the virus in the factory and of bringing down some Indians who may have transmitted the virus to the local staff.

The factory eventually became the epicentre of the coronavirus second wave in Sri Lanka.

However, Brandix insisted that all stipulated protocol was followed concerning its employees and their families returning to Sri Lanka from India.

Brandix Group Chief Executive Officer Ashroff Omar also wrote to his staff calling for compassion and assured that the company did not break any protocol when repatriating its Sri Lankan colleagues and their families back home from India, nor did they shift any orders or material from India into the Minuwangoda factory.

Omar also assured accountability after statements were made that the employee safety protocol was compromised. (Colombo Gazette)