(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The coronavirus variant currently spreading in Sri Lanka has been found to be a UK variant of the virus.
Director of the Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine of the Sri Jayewardenepura University, Dr. Chandima Jeewandara said mutations specific to the UK variant B.1.1.7 lineage, had been detected in several areas of the country.
He said the virus strain has been detected from samples obtained from Colombo, Boralesgamuwa and Kurunegala.
Dr. Jeewandara further said that this confirms that the B.1.1.7 lineage of COVID-19 is the new strain currently circulating in Sri Lanka
He said this particular strain of the coronavirus has been identified as the cause for the current massive outbreak in the country.
The new variant of Covid-19 belonging to the B.1.1.7 lineage found in the United Kingdom, was first detected in parts of Sri Lanka in February.
Thereafter, the South African variant of the coronavirus was detected in Sri Lanka in March.
In April, four more people, including three people in Colombo, were later found to be infected with variants of the coronavirus from Denmark and the UK.