Highly infectious Covid-19 strain detected in Sri Lanka

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Health authorities feared that the new variant is spreading rapidly after last week’s New Year celebrations with more younger people getting infected….reports Asian

A highly transmissible Covid-19 variant is fast spreading in Sri Lanka, the health authorities have warned, adding that it can be airborne.

According to Neelika Malavige, the head of the Department of Immunology and Molecular Sciences of the Sri Jayawardenapura University, the new variant can remain airborne for nearly an hour and is spreading fast, the WION reported.

“This variant of coronavirus is more highly transmissible than all found so far in the island. The new strain is airborne, the droplets can remain airborne for nearly an hour,” Malavige was quoted as saying.

People taking COVID-19 vaccination at a police hospital in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (Photo: Ajith Perera/Xinhua/ians)

Health authorities feared that the new variant is spreading rapidly after last week’s New Year celebrations with more younger people getting infected.

Sri Lanka’s Education Minister Professor GL Peiris on Tuesday announced that all schools island-wide will be closed till April 30 amid a surge in coronavirus cases in the country.

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Cabinet Media Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said it was decided at today’s Cabinet meeting to close all schools and tuition classes in the country until April 30, reported Colombo Page.

According to Colombo Page, earlier it was decided to close only the schools in the Western Province and North Western Province.

A police officer receives the COVID-19 vaccination at a police hospital in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (Photo: Ajith Perera/Xinhua/ians)

However, education authorities have decided to close the schools in several other educational zones outside the two provinces as well after finding students infected with COVID-19.

The ministry of COVID prevention issued new guidelines which would remain in force until May 31.

The guidelines dictate a 50 per cent capacity operation for most institutions with all forms of revelry being banned.

The total number of cases of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka has reported 102,376, while the total number of the death toll has reached 647, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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