Colombo, Nov 20 (DailyMirror) – Sri Lanka had detected the new sublineage of the Delta variant – AY104 in June this year, and presently the northern province is the worst affected, health officials told Daily Mirror last evening.
With the detection of this new variant, Sri Lanka has now two sublineages of the Delta variant that originated in Sri Lanka – the highly contagious AY28 and now the AY104.
However according to health experts, the AY104 is not as highly contagious as the AY28 which caused the third wave since April, and it is more similar to the original Delta variant.
However, the AY104 is spreading in the provinces where the infection rate was low in previous months including the Central and Northern Province. So far, the North has detected the highest number of cases.
Colombo which was the worst affected during previous outbreaks is reporting a low infection rate presently but the risk of being re-infected exists.
According to health experts, the AY104 is continuing to be studied and all health guidelines are strongly recommended in order to prevent another wave, which health experts warn may be possible with the upcoming festive season.
The AY104 is not as highly contagious as the AY28 which caused the third wave since April The worst is expected in the coming weeks if the public movement continues The AY104 is spreading in the provinces where the infection rate was low in previous months Health guidelines are strongly recommended in order to prevent another wave.
With these two variants originating in Sri Lanka, it was from the country that this lineage had now exported to other countries.
“We need to keep our guard up and maintain all health guidelines as much as possible. People and authorities should stop public gatherings immediately to prevent a further spread,” doctors on ground said.“even though Colombo is now reporting less cases, health guidelines should be strongly followed and people must leave homes only if necessary. Parties and gatherings should be avoided to prevent worsening the situation,” leading experts said.
Hospitals are reporting a less number of patients when compared to previous months with the availability of beds, especially oxygen beds. However, in other provinces, the worst is expected in the coming weeks if the public movement continues.
Health experts have also commended Sri Lanka’s vaccination programme with booster doses now being administered to those above 60 years of age and have urged those from the anti-vax movement also to get their vaccines in order to prevent severe symptoms and even death in case they are infected.
Sri Lanka is one of the leading countries in Asia in its vaccine drive and one of the few countries in the world to begin administering booster doses on its population as new mutations of the COVID-19 are being detected, especially during the winter season. (Jamila Husain)