The new variant named SARS-CoV-2, belonging to the B.1.1.7 lineage in the UK, which has a higher transmissibility, has been detected in COVID-19 positive samples received from four areas in the country.
The samples were received from Colombo, Avissawella, Biyagama and Vavuniya areas, says Director of the Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine of Sri Jayewardenepura University, Dr. Chandima Jeewandara.
According to him, this COVID-19 variant, also known as VOC 202012/01, has a higher transmissibility.
The United Kingdom first reported the new SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern (VOC) to the World Health Organization in December last year.
The B.1.1.7 is the currently rapidly transmissible variant currently circulating in the UK and many other countries. It is associated with a 50% higher transmissibility than the other SARS-CoV2 variants. This does not have any mutations that affect vaccine efficacy.