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Last Updated : Oct 31, 2020 08:33 PM IST | Source: PTI

Coronavirus second wave | Sri Lanka's re-emerging COVID-19 strain has high transmissibility: study

Sri Lanka's COVID-19 cases crossed the 10,000-mark with 20 deaths reported on October 31. When the second wave was reported on October 4, there were only 3,396 cases with just 13 deaths.

PTI

Sri Lanka's second COVID-19 wave which began early in October has the mutation associated with high transmissibility, according to a study.

A team of scientists at University of Sri Jayewardenepura carried out genomic sequencing of the virus to determine if the current outbreak is due to spread of different strains, Dr Chandima Jeewandara, a team member told reporters.

Sri Lanka's COVID-19 cases crossed the 10,000-mark with 20 deaths reported on October 31.

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Read: Coronavirus second wave: Causes, preventive measures and other things you should know

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When the second wave was reported on October 4, there were only 3,396 cases with just 13 deaths. The figures then were coming from mid-March when the first COVID-19 case was reported.

The study has revealed that the current circulating strain is different from the strains that circulated previously.

"We obtained different strains and found that the virus strains circulating in different places in the country, are of a common origin. The previous strains that circulated in Sri Lanka were of the B.1, B.2, B 1.1 and B.4 lineages, the current virus strain is slightly different as it belongs to the B.1.42 lineage," said Jeewandara.

He said the strains were similar at both current large clusters; at the garment export factory and at the Colombo's largest fish market. Both had resulted in 7,083 cases till Saturday.

Despite the current spike, the authorities are not planning to impose another nationwide lockdown. Since October 4, over 150 police divisions in different locations were placed under curfew.

The Western province where the capital Colombo is located is currently under a 72-hour quarantine curfew which is due to end on Monday

Senior health official D Asela Gunawardena said no lockdowns were necessary if the people exercised due care by restricting their movements.
First Published on Oct 31, 2020 08:31 pm
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