Sri Lanka Detects 1st Case of Covid-19's Omicron Variant

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Sri Lanka is vaccinating 18- and 19-year-olds against the coronavirus as it expands the shots to students,  REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

Sri Lanka is vaccinating 18- and 19-year-olds against the coronavirus as it expands the shots to students, REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

The person, who arrived from an African nation, was currently in quarantine along with his family members, the official said.

PTI ColomboLast Updated:December 03, 2021, 15:09 ISTFOLLOW US ON:

Sri Lanka on Friday detected its first case of COVID-19’s new variant Omicron, Deputy Director General of Health Services Hemantha Herath said. Today, we have found one Omicron infected person from our labs, he announced. The person, who arrived from an African nation, was currently in quarantine along with his family members, the official said.

The Sri Lankan government on November 28 had announced that arrivals from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho and Eswatini are required to undergo mandatory quarantine.

Herath said that the detection was made possible by the continued surveillance carried out by the health authorities having warned the public on the new variant weeks ago. As of Thursday, the total number of COVID-19 infections since March 2020 stood at 5,65,471 with 14,399 deaths.

Sri Lanka ended its lockdown on October 1, which lasted since mid-August. The deadly third wave of the coronavirus struck in mid-April. The new potentially more contagious B.1.1.529 variant was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on November 24, and has been designated as a “Variant of Concern" by the global body, which named it Omicron.

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