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South African variant of COVID-19 Patient identified in Sri Lanka

13 March 2021 12:00 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • The Health Ministry said it is monitoring the situation and there is no  necessity for people to panic as it had been found from a quarantine  centre 
  • The new coronavirus variant, also called 501Y.V2 acquired more mutations in the following months

By Sheain Fernandopulle   

A South African variant of COVID-19 known as B.1.351 was detected yesterday from a patient in a quarantine centre in Sri Lanka for the first time, Director of the Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine of Sri Jayewardenepura University, Dr. Chandima Jeewandara said.   

He said the patient is a returnee from Tanzania.  


The new coronavirus variant, also called 501Y.V2, was identified following a rise in cases in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and surrounding areas in October 15, 2020. It acquired more mutations in the following months.   
In particular, it has a mutation called E484K that alters the shape of a key part of the coronavirus spike protein and helps it evade antibodies effective against other variants. This mutation in the spike protein has also occurred in the UK B.1.1.7 variant, and the Brazil P.1 variant, but B.1.1.7 viruses with this additional mutation remain very rare for now.  


Meanwhile, the Health Ministry said it is monitoring the situation and there is no necessity for people to panic as it had been found from a quarantine centre.  


However, it requested people to continue to follow health guidelines in day-to-day activities. 

 

  • The patient is a returnee from Tanzania

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