By Easwaran Rutnam
Sri Lanka is on alert as the Lambda variant of the coronavirus was found to be spreading in some 30 countries and could even be resistant to current Covid vaccines.
The health authorities urged the public to take all precautions, including wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing to protect themselves from Lambda and all other Covid variants.
State Minister of COVID19 control Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle told Daily Mirror that so far no new precautions have been advised as a result of the Lambda variant spreading in other countries.
Restrictions enforced as a result of the coronavirus were further relaxed this week, but the public have been urged to strictly adhere to the health guidelines already in place.
Deputy Director of Health Services Dr. Hemantha Herath said that the health authorities are still gathering information on the Lambda variant.
However, he said it is important that the public follow the existing health guidelines to prevent the spread of any variant.
“It does not matter what variant it is. It is important that the normal Covid health guidelines are followed to prevent any spread,” Dr Herath told Daily Mirror.
He said that genomic sequencing being carried out in Sri Lanka will detect the virus if it enters the country.
According to reports, the Lambda variant, or C.37, was first detected as early as last August 2020 in Peru and was being monitored as an alert for some time prior to its new designation.
Foreign media reports indicated that as of mid-June, the variant had been detected in over 30 countries or territories with a particularly high prevalence in South America.
The World Health Organization said the variant’s mutations could increase its transmissibility or possibly increase its resistance to neutralizing antibodies.