Sri Lanka detects first patient with new Covid variant

FILE- In this April 1, 2020 file photo, Sri Lankan police officers check identity of commuters during a curfew imposed to curb the spreading of new coronavirus in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The government has announced that it will re-impose a 24-hour countrywide curfew from 8.00 pm Thursday until next Monday, as a part of the efforts to control the spreading of the virus.

Sri Lanka has detected the new strain of the Covid-19 virus after a British national who has arrived here recently tested positive for the new variant, Chief Epidemiologist of the Health Ministry’s Epidemiology Unit Sudath Samaraweera said on Wednesday.

This is the first case of the new variant to be reported in the island country.

Samaraweera said the infected patient had arrived in the country a week or two ago and further investigations were underway.

Till date, Sri Lanka has detected over 49,000 positive Covid-19 patients as the country is in the midst of a second wave of the pandemic.

According to the Health Ministry, out of 49,537 patients detected since March, 42,621 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals bringing down the active patient count to 6,627.

It said that so far 244 patients have died of the virus.

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