New Covid variant detected in Colombo and other areas

The new variant of Covid-19 belonging to the B.1.1.7 lineage found in the United Kingdom (UK) has been detected in parts of Sri Lanka.

Director of the Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine of the Sri Jayewardenepura University, Dr. Chandima Jeewandara said the virus variant was identified from samples received from Colombo, Avissawella, Biyagama and Vavuniya.

Dr. Jeewandara said the new variant of Covid-19 has a high transmission rate.

In January 2021, Sri Lanka reported that a new variant of the coronavirus found in the UK had entered Sri Lanka.

Thereafter, Dr. Chandima Jeewandara said another new variant similar to that which spread across Sweden, Germany, Denmark and Iceland has also been detected in Sri Lanka.

He said at the time that identified as Lineage B.1.258, the new variant is said to be highly transmissible.

The B.1.1.7 lineage of COVID-19 identified from samples in Colombo, Avissawella, Biyagama and Vavuniya is the third variant to enter Sri Lanka.

The Colombo District reported 273 infected persons in the 24-hours ending at 06 am today, with 12 infected people being detected in Avissawella.

Ten infected persons were detected in Biyagama in the Gampaha District, while one infected person was found in the Vavuniya District during this period.

The Colombo and Gampaha Districts have been identified as high- risk areas after reporting over 800 Covid cases on a daily basis.

The Vavuniya District has been identified as an intermediate risk area after reporting over 50 cases per day over the past few weeks. (Colombo Gazette)