First case of Indian COVID-19 variant detected in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, on Saturday, detected its first case of the Indian variant of coronavirus, also known as B.1.617. The Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine of the University of Sri Jayewardenapura, Colombo, in a report released on Saturday, said the infected person had returned from India and was found at a quarantine center for returnees in Colombo.
Various COVID-19 variants have been detected in the country
The sample was among several other samples obtained for testing until April 30, the Colombo Gazette reported. The statement also gave details of other coronavirus variants so far detected in the island nation. They are, B.1.1.7 (UK variant), B.1.428 (Denmark/European/Middle East variant), B.1.411 (Sri Lankan variant), B 1.525 (Nigerian variant), and B.1.351 (South African variant).
Sri Lanka to start vaccinating its own with Sinopharm
Sri Lanka, on Saturday, began rolling out the Chinese Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine after World Health Organization approved it for emergency use. The island had received 600,000 doses of Sinpoharm last month. As the local health medicine regulators failed to endorse it in the absence of WHO approval for emergency use, only the Chinese nationals employed in the country were administered the vaccine.
Country turned to other vaccines due to lesser Covishield doses
Early this week, the Russian Sputnik V was first administered in a populous Colombo suburb as cases surged throughout the island. Sri Lanka had to opt for other vaccines due to the delay in the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from the Serum Institute of India. The roll-out of AstraZeneca's second dose began last month even with the shortfall of the required number.
Sri Lanka has reported 1.21 lakh COVID-19 cases till date
Sri Lanka has reported over 1,21,000 coronavirus infections with over 1,01,000 recoveries since the onset of the pandemic in March last year. The country, on Friday, recorded 19 deaths, the highest number of fatalities in a single day. Currently, the total number of deaths in the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic stands at 764.