Health authorities assure public after new variant enters Sri Lanka

Health authorities say there was no immediate threat to Sri Lanka despite one individual being detected with the new variant of the coronavirus.

Deputy Director-General of Public Health Services, Dr. Hemantha Herath, urged the public to remain calm saying all precautionary measures had been taken.

He said that steps had been taken at the start when it was suspected that the arrival from the UK had been infected with the new strain.

Dr. Herath said that gene sequencing resulted in the detection of the new strain in the individual.

Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Sudath Samaraweera said measures will be taken to strictly enforce the health guidelines in Sri Lanka and to prevent the new variant from entering society.

He further said there is no change to the COVID containment process currently followed by health officials.

The Chief Epidemiologist said the detection, treatment, and management of the virus will remain unchanged at present.

England’s Moeen Ali is infected with the new UK variant of the coronavirus, Sri Lankan authorities said Wednesday, after the cricketer tested positive for Covid-19 on his arrival in the country 10 days ago.

Deputy Chief Epidemiologist Hemantha Herath had told reporters in Colombo that the 33-year-old England all-rounder was Sri Lanka’s first case of the UK strain, which is believed to be more transmissible. (Colombo Gazette)