New more infectious and airborne strain of COVID-19 detected in Sri Lanka – Prof. Neelika Malawige

In the backdrop of the massive resurgence of COVID-19 in several parts of the world, a new more infectious and potent strain of SARS-CoV-2 has been discovered in Sri Lanka. Expert scientists at Sri Jayewardenepura University have said that the new strain of COVID-19 is airborne and its droplets can remain in the air for nearly an hour.

“This variant of coronavirus is more highly transmissible than all found so far in the island. The new strain is airborne, the droplets can remain airborne for nearly an hour,” said Prof. Neelika Malavige, the Head of the Department of Immunology and Molecular Sciences of the Sri Jayewardenepura University.

Advising people to follow appropriate COVID behavior, the experts have warned that the new strain could trigger the third wave of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka in the next two to three weeks.

Like India, Sri Lanka is witnessing a massive spike in daily cases. The island nation currently has nearly one lakh COVID-19 cases while more than 600 patients have succumbed to the infection. However, the country’s health department has urged its people not to panic but has advised them to strictly follow all necessary COVID-19 protocols like using face masks and practicing social distancing.

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