Issuing a statement over the COVID-19 situation at Brandix manufacturing facility in Minuwangoda, the company today said that all stipulated protocols were followed concerning its employees and their families who returned to Sri Lanka from India.
It said certifications issued from the authorities confirming adherence to quarantine process are available for all 341 employees and members of families that travelled from India to Sri Lanka.
The statement said, "In our efforts to ensure transparency and clarify concerns of all our stakeholders on the COVID-19 situation at our manufacturing facility in Minuwangoda, we confirm with proof that all stipulated protocol was followed concerning our employees and their families returning to Sri Lanka from India.
A total of 341 employees and members of families travelled from our facility in Visakhapatnam, India to Sri Lanka on three separate chartered flights on 25th June, 8th August and 22nd September 2020. We can confirm that all the passengers followed the Sri Lanka Government protocol for the prevention and control of COVID-19, which includes PCR testing and a 14-day mandatory quarantine at a government regulated quarantine facility, as well as the 14-day self-quarantine process done under the supervision of the respective PHIs.
Upon completion of the 14-day mandatory period at a government regulated quarantine facility, a certification signed by the Head of National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 and the Director General of Health Services has been issued to each individual confirming the same. The passengers of the first two flights then underwent the 14-day self-quarantine process under the supervision of the respective PHIs.
A certificate confirming the completion of the self-quarantine process has been issued to each passenger of these two flights by the Office of Medical Officer of Health for the respective area, which is signed off by the respective Public Health Inspector and the Medical Officer of Health. The 48 passengers that travelled to Sri Lanka on 22nd September 2020 are currently undergoing the 14-day self-quarantine process under the supervision of the respective PHIs and will be issued the same certification upon completion of the process.
The certificates regarding all passengers can be produced for verification to any Government authority investigating the matter. We further confirm that we have not had any visitors or travelers from India enter our Minuwangoda facility during the past two months.
We also reiterate that our facility in Minuwangoda did not undertake any orders for our India operation nor does it use any fabric from India. Brandix has a health and safety protocol and as a policy, we have directed all our facilities to follow the Sri Lanka Government protocol in place for the prevention and control of COVID-19.
We are co-operating with all relevant authorities in their efforts to control the outbreak, while revisiting our processes to ensure that we are better positioned to meet changing conditions. We are also thoroughly investigating any lapses in this regard and will share our learnings and take the necessary action in the event of any violation. Recent media reports also expressed concerns over the matter of employees who had tested positive not being available for immediate quarantine or hospitalisation.
We would like to clarify that we are working with state officials in this regard and that the situation is being resolved. We are taking all necessary measures for their recovery, under the direction of the relevant health authorities. In order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our employees and their families, we are doing our utmost to provide the necessary support in facilitating supplies to quarantine centres and hospitals, in collaboration with the relevant authorities.
A former facility of Brandix in Rambukkana was converted to a quarantine centre with 300 beds, and under the management of the Sri Lanka Army, accommodates our employees and family members throughout the quarantine process. Additionally, we continue to operate a quarantine centre provided by us in Punani, Batticaloa during the COVID-19 outbreak earlier on in the year, which also presently houses employees, family members, and any others affected.
We are sincerely appreciative of the tireless efforts of the state, health officials, armed forces, doctors and medical staff who are working round the clock to ensure the health and well-being of our nation and its communities. We assure you that we are extending our utmost co-operation at every point of this process and will keep you updated as we proceed.
As we navigate through this challenging period, we respectfully request you to extend your consideration to our team members and those affected. We will continue to do our utmost to support them on their path to recovery."