A health expert says a variant first identified in Britain is driving the current outbreak in Sri Lanka, which confirmed its highest number of daily new cases Wednesday.
Tests from three areas confirmed the B117 variant was the strain of the coronavirus circulating in the country, said Dr. Chandima Jeewandara, director of the Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine of Sri Jayewardenepura University in Sri Lanka.
He spoke as Sri Lanka reported 1,111 COVID-19 cases were detected during the last 24 hours — the highest number in a day since the virus was first detected on the Indian Ocean island nation in March 2020.
Health officials have warned of a potential surge to follow the traditional new year festival in mid-April.
The government has closed schools all over the country and half of the state workforce is to work from home. Several dozen villages are under lockdown around the country.