Sri Lanka confirms first Omicron variant case

Sri Lanka confirms first Omicron variant case

December 3, 2021   01:09 pm

Sri Lanka has confirmed its first case of Omicron COVID-19 variant, the Health Promotion Bureau announced on Friday (03 December).

The virus strain was detected in a Sri Lankan national who recently returned from Nigeria, according to Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Samitha Ginige.

Reportedly, the individual in question is currently under quarantine.

In a statement, Deputy Director of Health Services, Dr. Hemantha Herath said the Omicron case was detected as a result of the surveillance activities conducted by the health authorities.

He told the general public that this is not a reason to panic or to have any undue fears.

Meanwhile, at a media briefing organized by the Presidential Media Center (PMC) yesterday, the health officials noted that Sri Lanka has an accurate understanding regarding the spread of the new Omicron variant and that laboratory facilities are available to identify the virus through genetic analysis.

South Africa alerted the World Health Organization (WHO) about a new highly mutated SARS-CoV-2 variant on 24 November. More than 30 countries, including the US, UK, Canada and Japan have since detected the variant.

Initial evidence suggested that Omicron has a higher re-infection risk. However, scientists said it would take at least three weeks to know how the heavily mutated variant impacts the effectiveness of various vaccines.

As the Omicron continued to spark serious global worry, dozens of countries moved to implement travel restrictions to guard against Omicron variant.

Sri Lanka also barred the arrival of foreign travellers who have been to six countries in the African continent. Accordingly, passengers with a travel history – including transit – to South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini (Swaziland) within the past 14 days were denied entry to the island nation with effect from midnight on 28 November.

Disclaimer: All the comments will be moderated by the AD editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or slanderous. Please avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment and avoid typing all capitalized comments. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by flagging them(mouse over a comment and click the flag icon on the right side). Do use these forums to voice your opinions and create healthy discourse.

Most Viewed Video Stories

Will ex-IGP be released? (English)

Will ex-IGP be released? (English)

Special notice for banking customers (English)

'Sirimathipaya' declared open by President Rajapaksa (English)

Why can't we speak with Elon Musk and build electric car factory in Sri Lanka? - Sajith (English)

Widow of Priyantha Kumara receives $100,000 collected by Sialkot business community

None of these are natural crises, they were created by present administration - Anura Kumara

Will ex-IGP be released?

Farmers say paddy harvest has dropped by 60% in Anuradhapura District