Omicron Covid variant enters Sri Lanka

The Omicron coronavirus variant has entered Sri Lanka through a local passenger who returned from South Africa.

The Health Promotion Bureau said that the infected person was detected through gene sequencing tests conducted on samples obtained from the patient.

The Health Promotion Bureau said that all the required precautionary measures are now being taken.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said recently that the Omicron coronavirus variant is likely to spread internationally, posing a very high global risk of infection surges that could have severe consequences in some areas.

The UN agency urged its 194 member states to accelerate vaccination of high-priority groups and, in anticipation of increased case numbers, to “ensure mitigation plans are in place” to maintain essential health services.

“Omicron has an unprecedented number of spike mutations, some of which are concerning for their potential impact on the trajectory of the pandemic,” the WHO said. “The overall global risk related to the new variant … is assessed as very high.”

To date, no deaths linked to Omicron had been reported, though further research was needed to assess Omicron’s potential to escape protection against immunity induced by vaccines and previous infections. (Colombo Gazette)