Report on the new corona virus strains to the Minister of Health (Video)
Posted on October 31st, 2020

Courtesy Hiru News

Health Minster Pavithra Wanniarachchi, states that her Ministry has received the research report on the new coronavirus strain.

A special statement was made at the Ministry of Health today (31) regarding the relevant research report.

The Minister of Health stated that the research conducted by the team led by Professor Neelika Malavige, Director of the Dengue Research Unit of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura on the instructions of President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has revealed that there is only one variety of the Covid 19 virus in Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, Prof. Nilika Malavige has further pointed out in the report that the corona variety which is currently spreading in several parts of the island including Minuwangoda and Peliyagoda has been revealed to be similar to the fastest spreading virus variety in Europe.

The scientists at the Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine and Allergy, Immunology and Cell Biology Unit of University of Sri Jayewardenepura embarked on carrying out whole genomic sequencing of the virus, to determine to see if the current outbreak is due to spread of different strains, if there are certain mutations that result in the rapid spread of the virus and to investigate the relationship between the current circulating virus strains to previous strains circulating in Sri Lanka.

<strong>Key findings of the study were:
The current circulating strain is different to the strains that circulated previously.
It has the mutation associated with high transmissibility due to high viral loads.

The same virus strain is so far responsible for the infections detected in the Minuwangoda, Colombo Municipality area and the Fish  market cluster

16 virus strains originating from Brandix, Minuwangoda, the Colombo Municipality area, Beruwala fish market and patients admitted to tertiary care hospitals were subjected to sequencing.

The team of scientists that carried out the sequencing work are Dr. Chandima Jeewandara, Dr. Deshni Jayathilaka, Dr. Dinuka Ariyaratne, Mr. Laksiri Gomes and Mr. Diyanath Ranasinghe led by Prof. Neelika Malavige

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