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Fast-spreading UK variant of COVID-19 found in Sri Lanka

Health authorities in Sri Lanka on Friday announced the discovery of the fast-spreading UK variant of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka, Daily Mirror reported. The variant came into light when samples from the four different places in Sri Lanka were tested

Feb 12, 2021
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Health authorities in Sri Lanka on Friday announced the discovery of the fast-spreading UK variant of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka, Daily Mirror reported. The variant came into light when samples from the four different places in Sri Lanka were tested. 

“Sequencing was carried out from viruses from Colombo, Avissawella, Ingiriya, Biyagama, Wattala, Mathugama, Mannar, Vavuniya and from those in several quarantine centres (returnees from overseas),”  said Dr. Chandima Jeewandara, the Director of Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine of Sri Jayewardenepura University. 

Tests were conducted in the Allergy Immunology and Cell Biology Unit, Department of  Immunology and Molecular Medicine, the University of Sri Jayewardenepura between January to the first week of February. 

The variant has 50 percent higher transmissibility than other SARS-CoV2 variants. 

This comes when Sri Lanka authorities plan to complete vaccination by May this year. The new variant has the potential to overwhelm the existing health infrastructure of the country. The government has identified 40,000 locations to set up vaccination points across the country.

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