Sri Lanka should be prepared to face the omicron coronavirus, SLMA warns

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – The Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) says the omicron coronavirus spreading worldwide rapidly cannot be prevented from entering Sri Lanka.

Chairperson Dr. Padma Gunaratne stated at a media briefing held today that the entry of this variant into the country could be delayed by taking immediate action.

Dr. Gunaratne said the rapid spreading nature shows that the omicron variant cannot be fully controlled by the existing vaccines but the situation can be controlled by strictly following the health guidelines which have been in place so far.

“A new variant has been emerged and there is a serious threat to the community by this new variant, named as omicron. The omicron variant of the COVID-19 is supposed to be with so many mutations, particularly, in the S-Protein, which is being used for development of vaccinations. Because of these mutations it is thought that this variant has very high transmissibility and the possibility of evading vaccinations,” Dr. Gunaratne explained.

She added that there is very high risk of this variant getting spread all over the world including Sri Lanka.

She said the government has already taken certain steps to strengthen the hospital facilities if needed, and the hospitals are getting ready to accommodate increasing number of patients.

However, as far as people are concerned Dr. Gunaratne said although there is no point of becoming worried over the particular variant, people need to adhere to basic health habits that they have been following over the last two years.

As the disease is concerned, it is impossible to stop the transmission of the disease which is a problem for the schools, teachers, as well as offices and the community, she said.

“As a majority are vaccinated, if people maintain their immunity with good diet and exercise, the vaccine is scientifically proven to give protection. It’s the people with less immunity who would develop complications and the worst consequences of infection,” Dr. Gunaratne said requesting the people not to panic and strictly follow health guidelines.

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