Sri Lankan health experts sound alarm over new Covid variant

Public health experts in Sri Lanka have warned of another wave of Covid-19 amid the possibilities of the spread of A.30, a new coronavirus variant, known to evade both Covid-19 vaccines, just over a month after the country came out of the lockdown

Nov 01, 2021
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New Covid variant

Public health experts in Sri Lanka have warned of another wave of Covid-19 amid the possibilities of the spread of A.30, a new coronavirus variant, known to evade both Covid-19 vaccines, just over a month after the country came out of the lockdown. 

“There is a risk that the new variant named A.30, which can evade COVID-19 vaccines, will enter Sri Lanka,” the Public Health Inspectors’ Union said on Monday. Almost all COVID-19 variants detected earlier in other countries were found in Sri Lanka within a short period of time, said Union Head Upul Rohana.  

The warning came at a time when Sri Lanka has been relaxing its Covid restrictions both for foreigners as well as its own nationals. Recently, the government has partially allowed resuming tourism activities. 

State Minister for Health Channa Jayasumana said that the government is on high alert over a new coronavirus variant. 

Reports also indicated gaps in enforcing appropriate health guidelines as cases started to recede. Currently, the country has been reporting around 500 positive cases daily--a significant fall from August, when the daily case count touched 10,000. 
  
“In a situation where COVID safety measures are going for a toss, if this new variant enters the country and begins to spread, there will definitely be a catastrophic situation,” Rahana was quoted as saying by The Daily Mirror.

The public has been asked to stick to health and safety protocols. 

Importantly, another wave could have a devastating impact on the country’s economy, which is already struggling after subsequent lockdowns.   

In September, the gross official reserves in Sri Lanka dropped to around $2.5 billion -- a decline of almost 28 percent in comparison to a month ago, when it was around $3.5 billion.

Later to boost the demand through injection of cash especially after the pandemic proved counterproductive for the country. Sri Lanka printed a lot of money and, at the same time, its external market was crashing. 

Currently, the government has been exploring various options for external financing. 

(SAM) 

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