Colombo, January 13 (Daily Mirror) – Sri Lankan authorities are testing one sample which has been obtained from a COVID-19 patient, to see if it is the mutated version of the virus which is fast spreading in many other countries, the Daily Mirror learns.
An official from the Health Ministry said that one sample which they had obtained from a positive patient may likely test positive for the new strain of the COVID-19 but it has been sent for a re-test to officially confirm it.
Details of where the sample has been obtained from are still unclear as the sample has been tagged with only a number, but if a confirmation is received that it is the new variant, the details of the patient will be tracked down according to that number. “If it is confirmed they will match it to see which patient it belongs to,” the official said.
Just weeks after the new variant was first reported in the UK, Sri Lankan officials said they had been on constant alert and in a bid to prevent it from entering the country had also imposed a temporary ban on flights arriving from the UK, which still remains in place.
However, the new variant, which scientists say spreads more easily among people has already spread to several other countries as well, including in neighbouring India. Meanwhile, health officials said that although the number of positive COVID-19 patients was to a great extent now static, the virus had dispersed in several areas across the country as small numbers from districts other than the Western Province continued to be reported.
Officials said they were now attempting to control the virus from further spreading in these areas. (Jamila Husain)