International

Sri Lanka detects Omicron variant

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Sri Lanka’s health authorities on Friday reported the first case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in a Sri Lankan national with a recent travel history abroad.

Following the detection of the Omicron variant in South Africa, Sri Lankan authorities barred passengers travelling from or transiting via six countries — South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, and Eswatini (Swaziland) — in the past 14 days. However, health officials and experts in Sri Lanka had indicated that the variant may have already entered Sri Lanka, and that closing borders alone could not prevent it from entering the country. Over 60 % of the country’s eligible population have obtained both doses of the vaccine.

Sri Lanka has so far reported 5,65, 471 cases of COVID-19, of which some 10,000 are active. Over the last few weeks, the country has seen a marginal increase in daily cases — around 750 a day, reflecting a positivity rate of approximately 10 % of the total PCR tests conducted a day. A total of 14,399 persons have succumbed to the virus.

Sri Lanka enforced a six-week lockdown until October 1 following a spike in infections.


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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 4:25:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/sri-lanka-detects-omicron-variant/article37818982.ece

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