Minister of Trade Bandula Gunawardena has tested positive for COVID-19 in a rapid antigen test carried out yesterday (Aug. 27).

In a post published on his official Facebook page on last night, the minister announced that he was tested for ths virus after it was confirmed that several of his staff members were positive for COVID-19.

Accordingly, Minister Gunawardena urged his close contacts to undergo self-quarantine.

He is the ninth Member of Parliament to contract the virus within the month of August.

Earlier this month, several lawmakers including Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, State Minister Prasanna Ranaweera, State Minister Janaka Wakkumbura and MPs Rohana Dissanayake, Tissa Kuttiarachchi, Dilip Wedaarachchi and Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam also tested positive for the virus.

In the meantime, veteran politician Mangala Samaraweera, who was under medical care for COVID-19, passed away on Aug. 24. The former finance minister was 65 years old at the time of his demise.