Highly transmissible B.1.617.2 detected in Colombo

The highly transmissible B.1.617.2  variant of the coronavirus has been detected in Colombo.

Dr. Chandima Jeewandara from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura said the variant was detected from five samples obtained in the Dematagoda area in Colombo. 

They were detected following random community Covid testing conducted in Colombo.

The Director of the Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine of the University said this is the first instance in which the Indian variant of the coronavirus has been detected from within the community in Sri Lanka.

Dr. Chandima Jeewandara said the detected Covid variant is 50% faster than that of the B 117 variant and is highly transmissible.

He further said the variant is more severe and evades one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. 

This is the latest variant of the coronavirus to be detected in Sri Lanka.

Earlier, Dr. Jeewandara had revealed that multiple coronavirus variants, including the highly transmissible Alpha variant, had been detected in Sri Lanka. 

The variants were found in Colombo, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Kuliyapitiya, Wariyapola, Habaraduwa, Thissamaharama, Karapitiya and Ragama. (Colombo Gazette)