SL detects 6 Covid variants amid surging cases


Sri Lankan health experts have said a total of six Covid-19 variants have been identified in the island nation amid an ongoing resurgence of new cases.

The coronavirus variants, including the more contagious B.1.617 first reported in India, were identified by the Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, reports Xinhua news agency.

A letter signed by the Department’s Professor Neelika Malavige and Director Chandima Jeewandara on Sunday, said the six variants were found in samples from patients sent to them as of April 30.

The health experts said the variant of B.1.617 was detected in a person who recently returned from India and was in a quarantine centre in Colombo.

Jeewandara was quoted by the Sunday Morning newspaper as saying that his Department has also detected 65 cases with the virus variant B.1.1.7 first found in Britain as well as one infection with the B.1.351 strain that originated in South Africa.

Sri Lanka has so far reported 125,906 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with 801 deaths.