Army chief says measures will be taken to contain new variant

Army Commander, General Shavendra Silva says appropriate measures will be taken to contain the spread of the new variant of the coronavirus in Sri Lanka.

He said that the new variant has been detected in a number of places in Sri Lanka.

General Shavendra Silva said that while there is speculation of an island-wide lockdown being enforced, no such decision has been taken as yet.

He said that the most appropriate steps will be taken in consultation with the health authorities, to contain the spread of the new variant in Sri Lanka.

Last week the new variant of Covid-19 belonging to the B.1.1.7 lineage found in the United Kingdom (UK), was 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. (Colombo Gazette)

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