Travel restrictions being considered in areas where Covid variant was detected

Travel restrictions are being considered in areas where the new Covid variant was recently detected, State Minister Dr. Sudharshini Fernandopulle said.

Earlier today, Army Commander, General Shavendra Silva said an island-wide lockdown has been ruled out as the new variant of the coronavirus has been found mostly in quarantine facilities.

He said that from around 16 people infected with the new variant, around 13 people are those in quarantine facilities, while the others includes a resident of Avissawella and a construction worker at Havelock City.

State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics, and COVID Disease Control , Sudharshini Fernandopulle said it has been ascertained that the new Covid variant is highly transmissible.

She said that the health authorities will hold a discussion with experts involved in studying the new Covid variant in order to determine the future course of action.

State Minister Fernandopulle further cautioned the public to remain vigilant with regard to the spread of the new Covid variant in Sri Lanka.

The State Minister said travel restrictions will have to be considered in the areas from where the new variant was detected.

This has to be implemented in order to prevent the new COVID-19 variant from spreading to other areas, she explained.

State Minister Sudharshini Fernandopulle said a decision in this regard will have to be taken after discussions with experts involved in studying the variant.

She said as health authorities and experts are in the initial stages of understanding the virus, basic measures such as travel restrictions will be considered to prevent a further spread of the virus.

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 last week.

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