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Rapidly transmissible new UK variant found in Sri Lanka

12 February 2021 01:49 pm - 27     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The new variant named SARS-CoV-2, belonging to the B.1.1.7 lineage in the UK, which has a higher transmissibility, has been detected in COVID-19 positive samples received from four areas in the country.

Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine Director of Sri Jayewardenepura University, Dr. Chandima Jeewandara said the new variant was detected in the samples received from Colombo, Avissawella, Biyagama and Vavuniya areas.

He said sequencing of 92 SARS-CoV2 viruses received in their laboratory from January to 1st week of February 2021 was carried out by the Allergy Immunology and Cell Biology Unit, Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine, University of Sri Jayewardenepura.

“Sequencing was carried out from viruses from Colombo, Avissawella, Ingiriya, Biyagama, Wattala, Mathugama, Mannar, Vavuniya and from those in several quarantine centres (returnees from overseas),” Dr Jeewandara underlined.

“Accordingly, a few viruses belonging to the B.1.1.7 (UK lineage) was detected from Colombo, Avissawella, Biyagama and Vavuniya and from a few individuals in the quarantine centres while most of the virus lineages belonged to the previously circulating B.1.411 lineage (Sri Lankan lineage),” he added.

The B.1.1.7 is the currently rapidly transmissible variant currently circulating in the UK and many other countries. It is associated with a 50% higher transmissibility than the other SARS-CoV2 variants. This does not have any mutations that affect vaccine efficacy. The new variant was first detected in UK in December 14, 2020. (Sheain Fernandopulle)

  Comments - 27

  • Fuller Friday, 12 February 2021 02:04 PM

    No community spread huh

    Ram Friday, 12 February 2021 02:13 PM

    Please make masks and personal ID compulsory outside a person's residence. Impose reasonable spot fines. Remove the duty on masks and price control the item, make it freely available in Pharmacies

    Dee Friday, 12 February 2021 02:35 PM

    Masks are freely available at every street corner.

    Mokan Friday, 12 February 2021 02:14 PM

    So Dangerous. Melbourne is on lock down due to this variant

    Sam Silva Friday, 12 February 2021 06:50 PM

    But our country has opened the boarders to the tourists because our country is more advanced than Melbourne. Sad !!!!.

    RoaringCreek Friday, 12 February 2021 02:30 PM

    Thanks Mr. Prasanna Ranatunga. This has come from UK through an air or sea port.

    G abe Friday, 12 February 2021 02:37 PM

    Thanks udayanga

    Michael Ranasinghe Friday, 12 February 2021 02:48 PM

    The wise guys in the ministry of health will do nothing until the entire country is infected

    Badform Friday, 12 February 2021 02:50 PM

    Bad news. Authorities must FIND A TO GET THE PCR tests results within a day.

    CJay Friday, 12 February 2021 03:53 PM

    When they banned the flights from UK,they said this cannot enter Sri Lanka now. Can they explain how it got to Sri Lanka now if there has been strict border control and quarantine? It is now a wide known fact that the Kent variant from Britain also existed in other countries and Britain is the one to find it first because they do a lot of sequencing. So a flight ban from UK may not be that effective. It may well come from any other country. And many countries don

    Suppiah Friday, 12 February 2021 03:57 PM

    The Wonder of Asia.....Multi Virus......

    CJay Friday, 12 February 2021 03:59 PM

    When they banned the flights from UK,they said this cannot enter Sri Lanka now. Can they explain how it got to Sri Lanka now if there has been strict border control and quarantine? It is now a wide known fact that the Kent variant from Britain also existed in other countries and Britain is the one to find it first because they do a lot of sequencing. So a flight ban from UK may not be that effective. It may well come from any other country. And many countries don’t know if they have it as they can’t or don’t do much sequencing. More than border control what is important is imposing high level of social distancing measures in-country. Then Even if a new variant enters the country the spread will be reduced and slowed down. If a country let the virus spread the virus can mutate in-country. The message of strict social distancing must be sent to the public.

    BE FAIR Friday, 12 February 2021 04:11 PM

    Why worry yet, its only found from 4 Cities We have so many Cities

    Julie Capper Friday, 12 February 2021 04:21 PM

    This is a real worry. This strain is very transmissible. I’m in Melbourne Australia and we have just had community transmission of this strain and we are in stage 4 lockdown again for 5 days to quell the spread. Follow our lead please or you’ll have many infections and deaths.

    friendfriend Friday, 12 February 2021 04:48 PM

    Prime minister Rajapakse should personally take anti-Covid operation. He should be assisted by a team of health professionals. The president is too busy with his pilisandara with fools who blindly support him.

    Samson Friday, 12 February 2021 04:51 PM

    Since there is no community spread yet we can allow more tourists than at present.

    Saman Friday, 12 February 2021 05:16 PM

    Our heartfelt thanks to the Godfather of Russia...

    BUSHEL Friday, 12 February 2021 05:35 PM

    CATCH THOSE WHO GOT DOWN THIS VIRUS AND FIND WHO BROUGHT THESE PEOPLE TO SRI LANKA . I'M SURE THIS WILL NOT BE DISCLOSED FOR THE OBVIOUS REASONS AS TO WHO GOT THEM DOWN LIKE THE MINUWANGODA SCENARIO THAT AGROVATE D THE SITUARTION IN SRI LANKA.

    Siribiris Friday, 12 February 2021 06:00 PM

    Thanks SARR.

    Sam Silva Friday, 12 February 2021 06:13 PM

    Results of opening boarders for tourists.

    Gamage Friday, 12 February 2021 07:04 PM

    UK variant has spread to everywhere in the world. So no surprise its in Sri Lanka too.

    Don Hettiarachchi Friday, 12 February 2021 07:50 PM

    Let us continue to pray, as Christians, to God for our motherland, consecrating it over and over again to its Patroness, our Blessed Mother. May St. Joseph, the Patron of the Universal Church, intercede, as humanity faces this menace over seas and continents. Amen.

    Idiot boy Friday, 12 February 2021 09:07 PM

    Successfully we controlled Covid 19. We are Number 10 in world rank.

    G abe Friday, 12 February 2021 10:57 PM

    We reduced pcr tests and quarantine for tourists, this is a direct result , uk variant is across europe , definitely in Ukraine, theyr a poor country and cant test as much, hope the hoteliers and travel agents that benefited from these tourists pay some to the poor folk who r the ones who will be affected most, while udayanga and his associates can quarantine in expensive hotels and get meals sent direct, thr poor will starve all so some multinational hotels can make money off us, greed in this country is disgustingly high

    GTG Friday, 12 February 2021 11:07 PM

    Rapidly transmissible new UK variant NOT found in Sri Lanka but INTENTIONALLY brought to Sri Lanka.

    Seyed Friday, 12 February 2021 11:32 PM

    Made in UK will ru faster and longer then Made in China.. We all know it!

    Demuni Uduwara Friday, 12 February 2021 11:45 PM

    Increase in deaths is also marvelous, last two weeks in particular. Besides, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, we are the highest in contacts and deaths daily among South Asian countries.


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