State Minister Arundika Fernando infected

By Vyshnavy Velrajh

State Minister Arundika Fernando has tested positive for COVID-19.

Sergeant-at-Arms of the Parliament, Narendra Fernando told Colombo Gazette that the State Minister is the seventh parliamentarian to contract the virus.

He said the MP had not attended the recent Parliament sittings held on 19 and 20 January. As a result, no direct contacts have been identified within Parliament.

Narendra Fernando further said State Minister Arundika Fernando had tested negative after being subjected to a PCR test at the Parliamentary Complex on 15 January.

Meanwhile, Parliament Communications Department Director Shan Wijetunga told Colombo Gazette that the MP was not detected with the virus after undergoing a PCR test at the Parliamentary Complex.

He said the State Minister is reported to have tested positive after privately undergoing a PCR test elsewhere.

Nearly 32 parliamentarians and over 900 parliamentary staff have undergone PCR tests, after six parliamentarians were found to have been infected this month.

MP Dayasiri Jayasekara was the first parliamentarian to have contracted the virus. Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Leader Rauff Hakeem and Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara thereafter contracted COVID-19.

State Minister Piyal Nishantha de Silva, Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, and Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) MP Wasantha Yapa Bandara were later reported to have been infected.

MPs Jayasekara, Hakeem, and Nanayakara have been discharged after complete recovery, while the remaining MPs are receiving treatment at COVID treatment centres. (Colombo Gazette)