MAS Issued statement on COVID-19 Cases at Unichela Panadura

As the number of COVID-19 cases in the Western Province continues to increase, the management of MAS is closely monitoring a developing situation at our manufacturing facility Unichela in Panadura. As at date, due to contact tracing and testing activity that has taken place, 85 COVID-19 Positive patients have been recorded among employees of the plant.

  • The management of Unichelahas been in close contact with Public Health authorities since the first case were detected and has been operating as per their guidelines in terms of contact tracing, quarantine protocols and business continuity.
  • The initial detection occurred when an employee with a fever was stopped at the plant entrance and was re-directed to a local hospital and later confirmed as COVID-19 positive. Contact tracing and testing over the next few days resulted in a total of 85 cases. 1,123 PCR tests were conducted, and no further results are pending.
  • While the plant operates with extensive COVID-19 preventive measures in place and close contacts already being in self-quarantine, to halt any further spread among the employees and community,the management temporarily stopped employees in the affected shiftfrom coming to the plant on the 15th of December as an added precaution.
  • COVID-19 positive employees and their immediate family members who also tested positive are currently being transferred to the MAS COVID-19 Care Centre in Giriulla, which is operated by the Ministry of Health, based upon the severity of their symptoms and in consultation with the PHI.
  • As agreed with the local health authorities, the plant wasclosed on the 22nd December, in advanceof its pre-scheduled annual maintenance closureas well as the seasonal holidaysand during thistime additional decontamination procedures will also be carried out within the plant.
  • Further PCR testing will be done on returning employees prior to recommencing their duties.

At all times and at all our facilities, the health of our associates is our primary concern and MAS co-operates with thelocal health authorities, conforms to their recommendations and any required informationis provided in a transparent manner.

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