The Weekend Leader - SL health system on alert over new Covid variant

SL health system on alert over new Covid variant




Sri Lankan authorities have said that the country's health system was on alert over a new Covid-19 variant first detected in South Africa, local media reported.

Quoting local health officials, the media reported that the mutation had not been detected in Sri Lanka but the country's health system was on alert as these mutations were fast spreading globally, reports Xinhua news agency.

Professor Chandima Jeewandara of Sri Jayewardenepura University's Immunology and Molecular Medicine Department said the variant detected in South Africa was the most mutated coronavirus so far and it was normal for new mutations to emerge in a pandemic.

"It may not have any serious effect on how the virus functions," Jeewandara said.

According to a study, the C.1.2 variant first detected in South Africa has since been found countries such as the UK, New Zealand, and Switzerland.

Scientists are studying whether the C.1.2 variant is more dangerous than the currently dominant Delta variant.

Sri Lanka is facing a rapid rise in Covid-19 infections with the spread of the Delta variant, which has infected nearly 60,000 people in recent weeks.

The total number of Covid-19 cases reported since March last year is 426,169, while the active patient count is 59,796 and the death toll stood at 8,991.

Sri Lanka is in the midst of a large-scale vaccination program with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa instructing authorities to complete inoculating all citizens above the age of 30 with the first doses by September.-IANS

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