Colombo, August 18 (Daily Mirror) – Sri Lanka’s health experts have launched a probe to identify the implications of the three new mutations of the Delta variant found mainly from Colombo and if it is more contagious than the original Delta variant which itself is fast spreading in the country.
Yesterday State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals Channa Jayasumana revealed in Parliament that three new mutations of the Delta variant had been identified in Sri Lanka, causing much concern among the general public who have already been warned against the rapidly contagious Delta variant.
When contacted, Prof. Neelika Malavige, the head of the Department of Immunology and Molecular Sciences of the Sri Jayawardenapura University, told Daily Mirror that the three variants had been found from the last gene sequencing done by health experts, around 10 days ago, and they were now probing to identify its implications.
The three new mutations have mainly been identified in Colombo.
Prof. Malavige said they were now in discussions with international labs, based in countries that had found these mutations in their countries as well and were studying what lied ahead with this.
“Based on the initial evidence, some of these mutations may be associated with higher degree of transmission of the virus. However, we are investigating it further by discussing it with our other international collaborators as well as discussing the implications. With these findings we could identify what it means for us,” the Professor said.
She said all three mutations however did not fall under the ‘Delta Plus’ category as the plus was associated with a different mutation that had not been identified in Sri Lanka to date.
She further said these identified mutations did not have any implications on the vaccine efficacy and urged people to get themselves vaccinated as soon as possible.
Colombo has been identified as the epicentre of the Delta variant and is now fast spreading in other districts. Doctors said the Delta variant had now been identified in the North as well. (Jamila Husain)