Colombo: Sri Lankan researchers are claimed to have identified a new and highly contagious COVID strain in the country. The new variant can remain in the air over an hour, said Neelika Malavige, the head of the Department of Immunology and Molecular Sciences of the Sri Jayawardenapura University.
Sri Lanka has been reporting around 600 cases a day for the last few days, with authorities fearing that the variant could have contributed to further infections after Sri Lankan New Year celebrations that held last week.
Director-General of Health Services Dr Asela Gunawardena said hospitals still had enough ICU capacity to treat COVID-19 patients but it was more important than health guidelines are followed to avoid infection.
"Previously the symptoms were not very apparent. Now they are much more visible and young people are more likely to develop them," he was quoted as saying by India Today.
Sri Lanka has banned all forms of celebration and has directed institutions to function at 50% capacity with statistics showing 99,691 cases and 638 deaths due to the disease.