New COVID variant in SL; High Transmissibility but no threat to vaccine immunity

New COVID variant in SL; High Transmissibility but no threat to vaccine immunity

New COVID variant in SL; High Transmissibility but no threat to vaccine immunity

Written by Staff Writer

26 Jan, 2021 | 5:55 pm

Colombo (News 1st); Researchers in Sri Lanka have identified a new variant of the coronavirus, which is different from the variant spreading in the UK.

According to the researchers at the University of Sri Jayawardenapura, this new variant is currently spreading in countries like Switzerland, Denmark, Iceland, and Germany.

Dr. Chandima Jeewandara, the Director of the Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine of the University of Sri Jayawardenapura said samples from those who returned from overseas were sent to the university for genetic sequencing last week for tests.

These test revealed a variant which is different to the coronavirus variant reported in the UK and this is coded as the B1.258 lineage.

Dr. Chandima Jeewandara said this variant has a mutation and there is increased transmissibility in this variant, meaning it can spread fast.

Further studies are being carried out by the research team, he said adding the health ministry was informed about it.

He further said the genetic mutation of the new variant has not shown any threat to vaccine immunity, therefore there is no cause for panic.

The tests also revealed the second wave can be termed as a 100 Sri Lanka lineage and it code-named B1.411 as there is no difference in the genetic sequence.

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