(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Delta variant, the highly transmissible B.1.617.2 coronavirus variant first identified in India has been found in Sri Lanka, health authorities said.
Director of the Allergy, Immunity and Cell Biology Unit at the Sri Jayewardenepura University Dr. Chandima Jeewandara said five people infected with the B1.617.2 or Delta Covid virus, which is spreading rapidly in India these days, have been found in the Dematagoda area in Colombo.
According to health officials, this is the first time that the Delta Covid virus, which is spreading rapidly in India, has been found in Sri Lankan society.
Although two people infected with the Delta Covid virus have been found in Sri Lanka before, both were found at two quarantine centers in the country.
Dr. Jeewandara said the basic symptoms of the rapidly spreading Delta Covid variety reported in Sri Lanka today are slightly different from the previous variants.
According to Dr. Jeewandara, this COVID variant is 50% faster in transmission than that of the B 117 variant and is likely to cause more severe disease. He also said that the Delta variant could not be controlled by a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
“Worst we could have imagined B.1.617.2 was detected in Colombo. Remember it’s 50% faster than B117; more severe and evades one dose vaccine,” Dr. Jeewandara said.
Also a group of people infected with the B.1.1.7 alpha virus, which is prevalent in Britain, had been found in five other areas, Dr. Jeewandara said.
People infected with the British variant have been found in Colombo 6, Colombo 8, Colombo 10, Batticaloa and Karapitiya in Galle.
Meanwhile, the health officials said they have taken steps to isolate and quarantine the closest associates of the people identified with the Delta variant. Dr. Chandima Jeewandara handed over the report on the genetic analysis of people infected with the severe coronavirus to the Director General of Health Services, Asela Gunawardena this morning (17).