By Vyshnavy Velrajh
An employee of the Brandix garment factory in Koggala has tested positive for COVID-19.
Galle district Regional Epidemiologist Venura K. Singharachchi told Colombo Gazette that the female employee, along with another female employee was treated at the factory’s sick room after falling ill yesterday.
The two employees were later transferred to the Mahamodara hospital, where they were subjected to random PCR tests. The results had revealed that one woman had tested positive, while the other was showing symptoms of the virus.
The Koggala Brandix factory management was informed of the test results and was requested to retain the employees of the Unit in which the infected patient had worked while falling sick.
Singharachchi said that 27 employees from the Unit and 35 other employees who had travelled with the woman in the transport provided by the office were identified as first contacts of the patient.
PCR tests were conducted on the two groups of employees, while tests were also conducted on 65 others who were identified as associates of the patient.
A total of 125 PCR tests were conducted, with 25 samples being sent to the Karapitiya hospital in Galle and the remaining 100 being sent to the Sri Jayawardenapura University.
The Galle district Regional Epidemiologist said that the management of the Brandix Koggala factory, which conducts random PCR tests as a practice, had also conducted 80 PCR tests following the detection of the patient.
All test results are expected to be issued during the course of the day.
Venura K. Singharachchi said that all first contacts of the employees have been placed in self-isolation at their residences until the PCR test results are obtained.
The patient shows no links to the Peliyagoda fish market or dockyard cluster, and is suspected to be linked to the primary Minuwangoda cluster, he said.
The management of the Brandix Koggala factory have closed the facility until further instructions from health authorities. Further action will be taken based on the results of the PCR tests conducted so far and on the instructions of the Health Ministry.
The Galle district Regional Epidemiologist further said that precautionary measures had already been implemented in the Koggala facility following the outbreak at the Minuwangoda facility of the Company.
Measures are in place to avert a large scale outbreak, similar to that of the Minuwangoda cluster, he added. (Colombo Gazette)