AG orders police to probe spread of Covid-19 from Brandix factory
October 27, 2020 04:44 pm
The Attorney General has directed the Acting IGP to investigate the spread of COVID-19 from the Brandix apparel factory in Minuwangoda.
He has also instructed the police to submit a progress report on the investigations within two weeks.
Coordinating Officer to the AG, State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne stated that the Attorney General’s attention was drawn towards the dangerous condition facing human lives due to the Brandix Covid-19 cluster and that today he held a discussion with the DIG (Legal Division) Ajith Rohana and gave relevant instructions.
The Attorney General Instructed that attention must be directed towards determining whether direct negligence or carelessness on the part of the management and representatives of the company or state officials had led to the spread of Covid-19 form the factory.
He also ordered to immediately launch a criminal investigation on the matter and to look into whether any offences under the Penal Code or the Quarantine & Prevention of Diseases Ordinance are uncovered and report back to him.
He instructed Acting IGP, in writing, to appoint a team of senior officers with experience to carry out these investigations while directing the police to submit a preliminary progress report before November 13.
The Minuwangoda facility had become the epicenter of a surprise resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the country after a female employee of the factory had tested positive for the virus earlier this month.
Brandix, a prominent apparel manufacturer in the country, said that the rigorous protocol implemented across the label, and the immediate response and support received from the PHI and relevant health authorities of Sri Lanka enabled the early detection of the patient, ensuring her timely transfer to IDH for immediate treatment and mitigation of any further spread of the virus.
However, the cases had soon spread to other apparel factories in the district and other parts of the country while it is believed this also led to the emergence of another cluster, the Peliyagoda Fish Market.
The total confirmed cases from the Minuwangoda and Peliyagoda clusters have neared the 5,000 mark presently becoming the single biggest COVID-19 outbreak in the country yet.
Meanwhile the death toll from the virus has climbed to 19.