Oct 07, Colombo: The Director of the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Sudath Samaraweera said the apparel worker who was first diagnosed with the new coronavirus is not the origin of the COVID-19 cluster at Minuwangoda Brandix garment factory and the virus may have been in the factory for several weeks.
This was stated by Dr. Sudath Samaraweera at a media briefing held at the Health Promotion Bureau office in Colombo today.
According to Dr. Samaraweera, the employees of the Minuwangoda Garment Factory have been suffering from respiratory ailments since September 20.
He said that the Minuwangoda garment factory worker who was first diagnosed with the new coronavirus had shown symptoms on September 28 and was admitted to the hospital on September 30.
Therefore, the first patient identified was an intermediate patient, who had previously been infected with the virus at the garment factory, and it is possible that the first patient may have recovered by now, he said.
He said the first patients to be reported were from the factory, and that if symptoms had appeared on September 20, the virus would have entered the factory two weeks before or earlier.
He added that in view of this situation, a number of factors have to be looked into. He also explained that finding the patient zero is a very difficult task.
He said that although there were patients who showed symptoms like fever, cold and cough, most of them did not show any symptoms.
The head of the Epidemiology Unit also said that the level of the virus was higher among the infected people identified from the garment factory than the previously reported cases.
Dr. Samaraweera said that this could be due to the early detection of the disease or the different behavior of the virus.
He further stated that all the infected persons and their relatives have been directed to quarantine safely and added that the necessary hospital system facilities are in place and if necessary, further facilities will be provided in the future.