Officials insist there is no Parliament cluster

By Vyshnavy Velrajh

Health authorities have insisted that a new coronavirus cluster has not emerged in Parliament after six Parliamentarians had contracted the virus.

Deputy Director General of Health Services Dr. Hemantha Herath told Colombo Gazette the detection cannot be defined as a new cluster as yet.

He said that a thorough study must be conducted on the situation and an investigation is already underway to determine the source of transmission.

Dr. Herath said if all six Parliamentarians had contracted the virus from one infected individual or anyone linked to that infected person, then it could be defined as a new coronavirus cluster.

However, he said that so far it has been found that the Parliamentarians have contracted the virus from different infected persons and cannot be defined as a new cluster in Parliament.

So far six Parliamentarians have contracted the coronavirus, and over 900 Parliament staff have been subjected to PCR tests at the Parliament Complex.

State Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara was the first Parliamentarian to have tested positive for COVID-19.

Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Leader Rauff Hakeem and Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara thereafter tested positive. All three MPs have been discharged from Covid treatment facilities after complete recovery.

Following these MPs, State Minister Piyal Nishantha and Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi tested positive for COVID-19. They are currently being treated at COVID treatment centres in Hikkaduwa.

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna MP Wasantha Yapa Bandara became the sixth Parliamentarian to test positive for COVID-19.

MPs Chaminda Wijesiri and Hesha Withanage are also reported to have self-isolated after coming into contact with MP Bandara. (Colombo Gazette)