Oct 21, 2020

No curfew or lockdown of Pettah or Fort as yet

Despite COVID-19 patients detected from Fort and Pettah in recent days, there are no moves to impose a quarantine curfew or lockdown in the area as yet, but health authorities are closely monitoring the situation while contact tracing is also ongoing, officials from the Health Ministry told yesterday (20).

On Monday, four employees of a business establishment in Pettah's 4th Cross Street tested positive for the virus, leading to shops in the area being shut down and immediate contact tracing had begun. Then yesterday, the National Operations Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 said a police officer attached to the Fort railway station tested positive for the virus and as a result 11 police officers from the station had been placed under quarantine.

Then last evening, an internal document circulated by the World Trade Centre management said an employee of Acuity Knowledge Partners Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, located on the West Tower 32nd floor at the World Trade Centre had tested positive for COVID-19.

The affected employee had last visited the building on October 8, and thorough and deep disinfection of the floor including the washrooms and other common areas had been carried out.

On Oct.16, 14 shops at Manning Market in Pettah were closed after a worker tested positive for the virus. "Despite these cases being reported, there is no decision as yet to impose a curfew in the Fort or Pettah area. The curfew will be imposed only when we feel there is a threat of a large number of patients in one particular area. However, authorities are closely monitoring the situation and will take the necessary action as and when required," officials said.

Meanwhile, in a meeting of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 yesterday, sources said that doctors from the Epidemiology Unit had maintained that the present situation facing the country had still not reached a community transmission stage as all patients detected to date had a source identified. However, the GMOA has maintained that a community transmission of the COVID-19 may have begun and has called on authorities to impose a strict lockdown of the areas which had been identified under the red zones. The Minuwangoda cluster yesterday surpassed the 2,200 mark with 60 new patients detected during the day.