Asia Today: Virus confirmed in 321 Sri Lanka garment workers


COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) —

Sri Lanka on Tuesday confirmed a cluster of more than 300 garment factory workers infected with the coronavirus, days after reporting its first community infection in two months.

The health ministry said all 321 people infected are co-workers of the first patient, who was diagnosed at a hospital two days ago and was from the densely populated Western province.

The cluster in the suburbs of Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo was identified despite the government saying it has successfully controlled the spreading of the virus.

Trying to contain the spread of the virus, the government imposed a curfew in two suburbs where the majority of patients live, closed schools and universities, and imposed restrictions on public transport.

For more than two months, Sri Lanka health officials have been saying that they have prevented a community spread of the virus and that the patients being reported belonged to two known clusters.

The country has reported 3,471 patients with 13 deaths. Of the total patients, 3,259 have recovered.

In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:

— India has registered 61,267 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, marking the lowest daily infections since Aug 25 and driving the country’s total virus caseload to nearly 6.7 million. The Health Ministry on Tuesday also reported 884 deaths in the past 24 hours. The death toll now stands at 103,569. India, the world’s second most-affected country, has been reporting the highest single-day caseload in the world for nearly 45 days. The last three weeks have seen a gradual decline in its daily reported infections.

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— South Korea has reported 75 new cases of the coronavirus as infections steadily rise in the greater capital area. The figures released Tuesday by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency brought the national caseload to 24,239, including 422 deaths. At least 36 troops have tested positive at an army unit in Pocheon, north of Seoul, while 14 other infections were tied to a hospital in nearby Euijeongbu. There’s concern that infections will grow in the coming weeks due to increased travel during the five-day Chuseok harvest holiday that ended Sunday.



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