Colombo, Oct 23 (News1st) – The DELTA ‘PLUS’ variant of the COVID-19 virus, is 10 percent (10%) more transmissible than the DELTA variant, Sri Lankan health experts warned on Friday (Oct. 23).
“Based on genome sequencing data available in Sri Lanka, NO cases of the Delta ‘Plus’ variant have been reported in the country as of now. However, it is important that we remain vigilant regarding the risk of the new sub-variant,” emphasized, Dr. Jude Jayamaha, Consultant Virologist at the Department of Virology of the Medical Research Institute in Colombo.
Although the new sub-variant was first detected in June, based on scientific tests conducted so far, only a limited number of cases of the Delta ‘Plus’ variant has been reported globally, Dr. Jayamaha pointed out.
Cases of the Delta ‘Plus’ sub-variant have so far been detected only in a few countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States, and Denmark.
According to Dr. Jayamaha, health experts and scientists across the world are conducting tests to determine whether or not the mutation could worsen further.
Commenting on the impact of the new strain on those who are vaccinated, specifically with regard to ‘breakthrough infections’, Dr. Jayamaha said the vaccines in use at present, have the potential to withstand the effects of the Delta ‘Plus’ sub-variant.
‘Breakthrough Infections’ or ‘Escape Variants’ refer to cases where the new strain of the virus could spread from those who have been fully vaccinated.
Consultant Virologist at the Department of Virology of the Medical Research Institute, Dr. Jude Jayamaha said that a sub-variant or a new strain of the virus could spontaneously emerge in an area where there is a rapid spread of the virus.
“To put simply, the rapid spread of the virus in a country, could lead to the emergence of new variants or sub-variants,” he added.