A new Covid-19 cluster has emerged in Sri Lanka with 103 employees of a garment manufacturing facility in Gampaha district testing positive for the virus, which increased the island-nation’s overall tally to 3,513, a top health official said on Tuesday.

According to Chief Epidemiologist of the Academy of Epidemic Diseases Unit Sudath Samaraweera, the new cases took the total number of infected workers from the facility located in Minuwangoda town, reports the Daily Mirror newspaper.

“Considering all aspects, the Epidemiology Unit identified the large cluster. With the PCR tests carried out by the government, there will be a possibility of controlling the cluster curbing the virus further spreading,” he said.

He said 220 people were found to be positive after 378 PCR tests were carried out on Monday.

Samaraweera said the PCR testing for the infected factory workers was still underway.

“PCR tests are being conducted and still we are collecting samples from suspected workers and others who were traced to be associated with the people who were tested positive.

“Many workers had gone on vacation. According to the information we have, more people had identified from districts of Jaffna, Kurunegala, Matale and Moneragala as workers of the Minuwangoda apparel factory,” the Daily Mirror quoted the official as saying.

He further urged people to adhere to health guidelines and go to hospitals if they showed any Covid-19 symptoms.

In addition to the cluster cases, three returnees from the United Arab Emirates also tested positive on Monday. The island nation’s death toll stood at 13.

Currently, 221 patients re receiving treatment, while number of recoveries rose to 3,259 with one person being discharged from the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) on Monday, reports the Daily Financial Times newspaper.

In relation to the new COVID-19 cluster, the Public Health Inspectors’ (PHI) Union President Upul Rohana said 1,300 students and 300 members of the public from the Divulapitiya area have been directed for quarantine, along with 650 persons connected to the Minuwangoda garment manufacturing facility.

He added that contact tracing efforts will continue.