Sri Lanka bars, nightclubs shut after new spike in Covid-19 infections

Colombo, Oct 9 (efe-epa).- Sri Lanka shut all bars, restaurants, spas, and nightclubs from Friday after a fresh spike in coronavirus infections in the densely-populated western province of the island.

“According to the new guidelines bars, restaurants, spas, casinos and nightclubs will remain closed till Oct. 31,” Chanaka Nanayakkara, the Colombo city excise officer, told EFE.

The Indian Ocean island nation is battling a fresh wave of coronavirus cases after health authorities detected a new virus cluster in the western province over the weekend.

On Friday, the number of infections linked to the new cluster traced to a garment factory named Brandix in Minuwangoda of the western provincial Gampaha district climbed to more than 1,050, which is the largest reported so far on the island nation since the virus outbreak earlier this year.

Health authorities are aggressively tracing contacts of a factory worker and her daughter, who first tested positive for the virus on Sunday.

Almost all the new patients are employees of the garment factory that since the outbreak has urged the workers to self-isolate.

The government earlier imposed a partial curfew in parts of the country and banned public gatherings to curb the outbreak.

The restrictions were extended to two suburbs in the north-east of the capital Colombo since a majority of the newly-infected persons lives there.

The authorities have already shut down schools and universities in the areas and partially banned public transport till further orders.

Chief epidemiologist of the health ministry Sudath Samaraweera earlier the media that possibilities of the transmission of the virus from one person to another in the newfound cluster were higher than in the previous hotspots.

The earlier Covid-19 clusters were detected in the Sri Lanka Navy and at a drug rehabilitation center. The possibility of the patients from the two hotspots coming in contact with the general public was low.

“We found Covid-19 positive cases in naval camps, which was the largest cluster before this. But these patients did not come out into the public. Therefore, we were able to control it effectively,” Samaraweera said earlier this week.

The health ministry on Friday said that it had recorded 29 new patients in the last 24 hours, which brought the total number of cases to 4,488 in the country. The virus has claimed 13 lives in the country.

Some 1,179 patients are currently being treated at different Covid-19 wellness centers, the authorities said. EFE-EPA


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