The new SARS-CoV-2 variant, which belongs to the B.1.1.7 lineage and is now dominant in the United Kingdom, was identified in Covid-19 as positive samples received from four regions across the country.
Samples were collected from Colombo, Avissawella, Biyagama and Vavuniya areas, says Dr. Chandima Jeewandara, Director of the Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine at Sri Jayewardenepura University.
According to him, this variant of the Covid-19, also known as the VOC 202012/01, has a higher transmittability.
The United Kingdom first reported a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 concern (VOC) to the World Health Organization in December last year.
By mid-January, 50 countries had identified a more contagious B.1.1.7 variant in positive Covid-19 cases.
However, the developers of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine stated that their jabs provide people with good protection against the new coronavirus variant. The efficacy against the B.1.1.7 variant was similar to that of the original virus, based on volunteer swabs.
Last month, Sri Lanka identified a special mutation (N439K) of SARS-CoV-2, which showed similar characteristics to the strain spread in England, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark and Iceland. It was a lineage of B1258.