Lanka has large COVID-19 cluster but no community spread: Top health official

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Colombo, Oct 27 (PTI) There is no community transmission of the coronavirus in Sri Lanka despite the existence of a large cluster, a top health official said on Monday.

The country’s Chief Epidemiologist Sudath Samaraweera attributed the recent spike in COVID-19 cases since October 4 to two clusters, a garment export factory at Minuwangoda and Colombo's wholesale fish market in the suburb of Peliyagoda.

'As the World Health Organisation (WHO) has defined, the community spread is when you find infections with no connections to each other and when they do not know how they came to be infected,” Samaraweera said.

All the cases, which have been identified, either reported from Minuwangoda or the fish market clusters, he said.

“There is no evidence of a community spread so far and it has been possible to do contact tracing to establish the origin of the cases,” he said.

Nearly 800 fish vendors have been identified as positive cases as Sri Lanka recorded its 17th COVID-19 death on Monday.

Over 60 police divisions from various parts of the island have been placed under quarantine curfew with restrictions on public movements.

The island has so far recorded over 8,000 cases with nearly half of them are cured, according to the health authorities. PTI CORR CPS