Two Ministers contradicted each other in Parliament today regarding the cause of the second wave of the Covid epidemic in Minuwangoda.
Responding to a question posed by leader of the National People’s Party (NPP) Anura Kumara Dissanayake, Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle, Minister of State for Primary Health Care, Epidemiology and Infectious Disease Control and Prevention of Covid said there is proof to claim that Covid 19 was brought into the country by a Ukranian national. However Minister of Public Security Admiral Sarath Weerasekera stated that the cause of the spread of the disease has not yet been determined.
Minister of State Dr. Fernandopulle was the first to answer a series of questions raised by Anura Kumara Dissanayake on the current state of the Covid epidemic during the Question Hour in Parliament. She further stated that the flight crew was staying at the Ramada Hotel in Seeduwa and that one of them had contracted the disease and that it was suspected that the disease had spread due to the association between them and the employees of Minuwangoda Brandix factory.
Dr. Fernandopulle further stated that the researchers, including Prof. Nilika Malavige of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, had identified the virus and that it had similar features to the one in Europe which goes on to prove this premise.
However, during his reply, the Minister of Public Security, Admiral Sarath Weerasekera stated that on the instructions of the Attorney General, the Colombo Crimes Division and the CID are currently investigating the second wave and have recorded more than 100 statements. The reason was that the exact cause could not be found.
The Minister said that about 20 officers of the CID have been infected with Covid due to the investigation and that there were 500 Sri Lankan workers working at the Brandix factory in Visakhapatnam and 341 of them had come to the island but had not visited any Brandix factory in the country. The Minister also stated that only ten of the workers who came from India were infected with Covid.
He said that there were eight foreigners working in the Brandix factory in Minuwangoda and only one of them had gone abroad this year and he too had completed the proper PCR tests and quarantine.
The Minister also said that it was revealed that the employees of the Brandix factory had been using paracetamol to continue working in order to obtain overtime pay even while suffering from fever.