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UK Alpha COVID-19 variant predominant in Sri Lanka: Expert

11 June 2021 08:42 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • The B.1.617.2- the Indian variant of the virus (Delta) has been detected  from a quarantine centre in Waskaduwa
  • Accordingly, the B.1.1.7, UK variant had been identified from Colombo,  Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Kuliyaptiya, Wariyapola, Habaraduwa (Matara),  Thissamaharama, Karapitiya, and Ragama

By Sheain Fernandopulle   

The highly contagious variant first identified in the U.K. is beginning to become the predominant strain in many regions of Sri Lanka, Director of the Allergy, Immunity and Cell Biology Unit at the Sri Jayewardenepura University Dr. Chandima Jeewandara said yesterday.   

Addressing a media briefing, he said this became further evident with the UK variant being detected from nine more areas in the recent sequencing.  


Accordingly, the B.1.1.7, UK variant had been identified from Colombo, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Kuliyaputiya, Wariyapola, Habaraduwa (Matara), Thissamaharama, Karapitiya, and Ragama.  


“We also found this UK variant in our previous sequencing as well conducted for the months of April and May.Accordingly, it can be said that the U.K. variant has become the predominant strain in Sri Lanka.Moreover, the Indian and Sri Lankan variants have also been detected in two areas,” he said.  


The B.1.617.2- the Indian variant of the virus (Delta) has been detected from a quarantine centre in Waskaduwa while the B.1.411, Sri Lankan lineage of COVID-19 has been reported from Thissamaharama.   
Dr Jeewandara said the relevant variants had been identified following the genetic sequencing conducted on 96 samples by his team at the Sri Jayewardenepura University.  

Moreover, Dr. Jeewandara said that healthcare workers attached to the Colombo National Hospital who were detected with the UK variant (Alpha) two weeks after receiving the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine have recovered. 

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