Sri Lanka records three new Omicron cases
Posted on December 22nd, 2021

Courtesy Adaderana

Three new cases of Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 have been detected in Sri Lanka, says Dr. Jude Jayamaha, Consultant Virologist of the Medical Research Institute.

This was disclosed at a media briefing at the Health Promotion Bureau today (December 22).

According to Dr. Jayamaha, two of the new cases of this highly-mutated variant had returned from Sudan. The other Omicron-infected person is reportedly a returnee from Tanzania.

They had arrived in the country on the 19th and 20th of December.

The new development brings the total number of Omicron variant cases to seven.

Sri Lanka confirmed its first Omicron case on December 03 in a Sri Lankan national who recently returned from Niger.

Later, on December 16, three more Omicron cases including that of a foreign national were confirmed on the island.

The World Health Organization (WHO) designated Omicron a variant of concern on November 26, soon after it was first detected by scientists in South Africa.

Scientists remain uncertain how dangerous the new strain is. However, early data suggests it can be more resistant to vaccines and more transmissible than the Delta variant.

The WHO has warned that Omicron is spreading rapidly in countries with high levels of population immunity. But it is unclear if this is due to the ability of the virus to evade immunity, its inherent increased transmissibility or a combination of both.

In an update on December 18, the United Nations’ health agency said Omicron has been reported in 89 countries.

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