New COVID variant detected in Sri Lanka | Daily News

New COVID variant detected in Sri Lanka

The highly contagious new variant of the coronavirus found in the UK was detected from samples obtained in Colombo, Awissawella, Vavuniya & Biyagama, said Dr. Chandima Jeewandara, the Director of the Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine of the University of Sri Jayawardenapura.

In January 2021, Sri Lanka reported that a new variant of the coronavirus found in the UK had entered Sri Lanka and a person, who had arrived from the United Kingdom confirmed to have been infected with this new variant of B.1.1.7 lineage.

As per the statistics of the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health, the country is recording over 800 COVID-19 cases on a daily basis.

In late January, with the receipt of free vaccines from India, the Health Ministry launched a vaccination programme for the frontline health workers and the military. The Secretary to the State Ministry of Primary Health Care, Epidemics and COVID Disease Control Dr. Amal Harsha de Silva said that the vaccination of 178,087 persons had been completed by yesterday evening (11).

“With the completion of the vaccination of frontline health workers, police and forces staff, the ministry plans to start the vaccination of frontline health workers of the private sector.

Requests have already been received from university staff engaged in COVID-19 prevention and also from the Airport Staff. The Ministry will take necessary measures to respond to those requests as soon as possible.” he said.

Dr. Amal further said that the country has already sent a purchase order for 18 million doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID 19 vaccine and a consignment of 3 million vaccines will be received by March 1. Sri Lanka has so far recorded 73,116 COVID-19 cases with 379 fatalities.