Virus cluster at Sri Lankan fish market

A cluster of coronavirus cases around Sri Lanka's main fish market has now reached 609.
A cluster of coronavirus cases around Sri Lanka's main fish market has now reached 609.

Authorities in Sri Lanka have closed at least two fishery harbours and many stalls after a surge of more than 600 coronavirus cases linked to the country's main fish market.

The government also widened a curfew in parts of Colombo. At least 11 villages were isolated in the densely populated Western province, which includes the capital.

Health authorities temporarily closed the fish market on Colombo's outskirts on Wednesday after 49 traders tested positive for the coronavirus. By Saturday, the number of cases went up to 609.

Hundreds of traders and fishermen are being tested.

Authorities say the outbreak is related to a cluster in a garment factory early this month, which has grown to 3,426 cases, almost half the country's total of 6,287. It broke a two-month lull in infections.

Several thousand people have been asked to quarantine at home. Schools and key public offices are closed, gatherings banned and restrictions imposed on public transport.

Sri Lanka has had 14 Covid-19 deaths since March.

Australian Associated Press