New Covid strain not detected in Sri Lanka so far

The new strain of the coronavirus has not been detected in Sri Lanka so far, the Health Ministry said.

Deputy Director-General of Health Services Dr. Hemantha Herath said that while there have been infected persons among the recent arrivals in Sri Lanka there is no confirmation if they have the new strain.

Dr. Hemantha Herath said that laboratory tests will need to confirm if the virus detected in the arrivals is the new strain or not.

Army Commander General Shavendra Silva had said yesterday that no decision has been taken to suspend flights from India over fears of the new strain of COVID-19.

The Head of the National Operations Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 said despite reports of a new strain of the virus being detected in India and Singapore, a decision has not been taken to suspend flights from the two countries as yet.

Stating that the new variant of the virus had emerged in the two countries through the United Kingdom (UK), he said it had not originated in India and Singapore and not many people have been infected at present.

General Shavendra Silva said Sri Lanka currently is receiving less flights from India and Singapore, while a majority of the flights are from the Middle East.

He further said that depending on future developments necessary precautions will be looked into and implemented as required.

The Government banned flights from the UK this month and prohibited passengers from the country transiting in Sri Lanka after it was reported that a new variant of the coronavirus had emerged in the UK and Europe.

It was later reported that six persons who had returned to India from the UK had tested positive for the new, more infectious strain of COVID-19.

Health authorities in Singapore had also detected patients with the new variant of the virus in the past few weeks. (Colombo Gazette)

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