The Delta variant (B.1.617.2), first identified in India has been detected from the community for the first time in Sri Lanka.
This was revealed by the Director of the Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura Dr. Chandima Jeewandara.
The Indian variant was detected in five samples obtained from Dematagoda in Colombo.
He said they had conducted 13 samples out of which five were Indian variants while other samples were B.1.1.7 (alpha/UK variant).
The Alpha variant was detected in Karapitiya, Batticaloa, Colombo 6, Colombo 8 and Colombo 10.
The Indian variant was earlier detected on two occasions in Sri Lanka from quarantine centres.
Scientists say the Delta variant is spreading more quickly than the Alpha variant.
Dr. Jeewandara said this is the first time that the Indian variant has been detected from community samples in Sri Lanka.
A strain believed to be more transmissible or cause more serious disease, the variant was first identified in India, decimating the nation’s health care system.
The Delta variant had also quickly become the dominant strain in the United Kingdom.