Officials struggle to verify residential details of Minuwangoda COVID-19 cluster

Public health and security officials scrambling to trace contacts of COVID-19 positive employees of the Minuwangoda apparel factory, are faced with difficulties in identifying residential details of workers and associates.

Speaking to the Public Health Inspectors Union Sri Lanka (PHIUSL) M. Balasooriya said PHIs are now faced with the challenge of tracing the exact residential details of employees.

“The records we have obtained mostly show permanent addresses of employees. However during investigations we found that most employees do not reside at these locations,” he said.

“There are also those who have been long term employees of the company, but are residing in different addresses to those available on record. PHIs are therefore struggling to find the exact whereabouts of a number of people” Balasooriya added.

Furthermore the PHIUSL Secretary observed that employees have been reluctant to provide accurate details of their own travel and association history. “While conducting routine investigations, we observed that most employees tend to conceal their activities or associations, in fear of revealing personal relationships of others and themselves.” Balasooriya urged the public to take into consideration the gravity of the situation and to cooperate with officials in carrying out their duties.

“If people are reluctant to share details publicly, we encourage them to share details in confidence. They can contact their respective PHI and provide details. We will ensure that their privacy is respected and will not divulge sensitive details to public,” Balasooriya assured.

He added however, as there were many such cases where officials have been unable to obtain accurate details, assistance of the military has been sought to in contact tracing efforts

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