SL to continue with AstraZeneca vax

The Sri Lankan government on Tuesday said it will continue administering the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccin despite its suspension in some countries over fears that it causes blood clots.

Cabinet Spokesperson Ramesh Pathirana told a media briefing that only one batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine had been temporarily suspended in certain European countries but Sri Lanka had not received that particular batch, reports Xinhua news agency.

He urged the public to remain calm as the country continued to administer the AstraZeneca jabs to those in the country’s main Western Province, which health officials had identified as Covid-19 hotspot.

According to the Health Ministry, the vaccines have been administered to over 780,000 people in the Western Province, including capital Colombo.

The vaccines are being administered to those above the age of 60 years and will later roll out to other age groups, health officials said.

The number of Covid-19 cases in Sri Lanka surpassed the 88,000 mark on Tuesday after over 300 new infections were registered, according to the Health Ministry.

According to official figures, Sri Lanka has recorded 88,238 confirmed cases since last March out of which 84,969 patients had recovered and been discharged from hospitals, bringing the active patient count down to 2,737.

The Ministry said 532 deaths have been reported from the virus.