Sri Lanka has identified 23 new positive cases of ‘Delta’ coronavirus variant, says the Head of National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO).
This brings the total number of infections of Delta variant found on the island to 61, Army Commander General Shavendra Silva stated further. The remaining 38 cases of the virus strain were detected earlier this month.
According to reports, the new cases have been detected in Colombo, Dambulla, Vavuniya, Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi and Negombo areas.
The Delta COVID-19 strain, first identified in India last October, is also known as B.1.617.2. It has been classified as a variant of concern due to its increased transmissibility.
The strain has mutations on the spike protein that make it easier for it to infect human cells. An average person who contracts Delta can spread it to three or four other people, in comparison with one or two other people through the original coronavirus strain.
According to health experts, unvaccinated individuals are more likely to be infected with the Delta variant, which is contributing to a rapid increase in COVID figures in more than 90 countries including the United States and the United Kingdom.
-with inputs from agencies