Colombo, May 13 (Daily Mirror) – There was a threat of the variant entering SL through those arriving from India and from other countries where the variant has spread.
It is for this reason that all arrivals are placed in quarantine and tested. The dreaded B.1.617, the Indian variant of the coronavirus, could be spreading in the community, health officials warned.
Chief Epidemiologist of the Ministry of Health Dr. Sudath Samaraweera said that there could be people who have gone undetected with the variant.
Health officials today warned that new Covid variants could be in the community, undetected.
Chief Epidemiologist of the Ministry of Health Dr. Sudath Samaraweera said that there is a possibility that individuals with the new variants could be in the community. Speaking at an online media briefing yesterday (Wednesday), Dr. Samaraweera said that B.1.617 has spread out of India to countries like the UK.
He said there was a threat of the variant entering Sri Lanka through those arriving from India and those arriving from other countries where the variant has spread.
Dr. Samaraweera said that it is for this reason that all arrivals are placed in quarantine and tested while genomic sequencing is conducted at the Sri Jayewardenepura University.
He said that further tests had led to the discovery of the Indian variant of the coronavirus in an individual who was at a quarantine centre. He said the individual is an Indian national and he had been in quarantine since arriving in
Sri Lanka. Samaraweera said that tests confirmed the Indian had the new variant after he was treated in hospital and was cured. However, he said there is the possibility that those undetected with the new variant in the early stages have slipped into society.
“We don’t know if there is someone we did not detect through who the variant spread into society,” he said.
As a result, he said that genomic sequencing testing is continuing at the Jayawardenepura University to detect anyone with the new variant who may have arrived in Sri Lanka and went back into the community.
Sri Lanka has so far detected six coronavirus variants in the country, including the Indian variant B.1.617.