He was responding to a question raised by a journalist during a media briefing held at the Government Information Department today (07).
He also added that authorities are faced with the complication of uncovering the source of the cluster, due to its sheer size.
Reports on social media claimed that a group had arrived from India on Sep. 22 on the flight UL 1159 and had entered the Minuwangoda Brandix facility, bypassing the mandatory quarantine regulations.
Reports alleged that the arrangements were made by Brandix CEO - Ashroff Omar.
Meanwhile, in a statement, Brandix had denied reports that Indian nationals were at its factory and the cause of the infections.
“No parties from India or any other country had access to the Minuwangoda facility,” the beleaguered company said in its third statement on the crisis.
The statement also notes :
We can confirm that no parties from India or any other country have had access to the facility during this period. We would also like to clarify that our facility in Minuwangoda does not use any fabric from India nor has it taken in any orders from our facility in India as well.
With regards to concerns on employees returning to Sri Lanka from India through chartered flights, we can confirm as follows. We operated three chartered flights from Visakhapatnam, India for our Sri Lankan employees working in India and their families, who returned to Sri Lanka. We confirm that they, including their families, followed the Sri Lanka Government protocol for the prevention and control of COVID-19, which includes PCR testing and a 14-day mandatory quarantine at a government regulated quarantine facility, as well as the 14-day self-quarantine process done under the supervision of the respective PHIs. Further to this, it must also be noted that none of these Sri Lankans nor their family members visited the Minuwangoda manufacturing facility.
We have also noted the circulation of a video on social media that alleges that the company has requested employees to come into work, following the identification of the initial COVID-19 positive employee at the facility in Minuwangoda. We have identified that the primary female party is the owner of a hostel, while the two members occupying her hostel and the supervisor being referred to are employed by a third-party cleaning service provider contracted by the Brandix Minuwangoda facility. We confirm that none of these individuals are employees of Brandix.
As an organisation, we rally together to care for the affected employees and their families, whilst endeavouring to minimise the impact on our communities and our nation in a collective effort to emerge from this crisis.”