Sri Lankans wait to give swab samples to test for COVID-19 outside a hospital as a health official walks past in Minuwangoda, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Oct 7: Sri Lankan authorities have banned all public gatherings as a new cluster of COVID-19 expands in the Indian Ocean island nation.
Health authorities said early Wednesday the outbreak centered at a garment factory has risen to 830 confirmed infections while more than 1,000 people have been asked to quarantine at their homes.
The health ministry ordered the public not to conduct public gatherings such as exhibitions, parties, conferences, indoor or outdoor events, carnivals, musical shows and processions.
The majority of the infected people are co-workers at a garment factory. Already, the government imposed a curfew in two suburbs of Colombo where many of the patients live, closed schools and universities, and imposed restrictions on public transport.
The cluster emerged Monday, a day after Sri Lanka reported its first community infection in two months.
The country has reported 3,733 patients with 13 deaths. Of the total patients, 3,266 have recovered.