Sri Jayewardenepura University Department of Immunology and Molecular Biology Head Dr. Chandima Jeewandara yesterday (26) tweeted that the Delta branch spreading in Sri Lanka has been named as AY.28, an alias of B.1.617.2.28, Sri Lanka lineage.
In a Twitter message, Dr. Jeewandara stated: “Our new delta branch with 701S is now officially AY.28 Alias of B.1.617.2.28, Sri Lanka lineage (sic).”
The Delta B.1.617.2 variant of Indian origin, which is more transmissible than other variants of Covid-19, was detected for the first time in Sri Lanka from a community sample in July 2021. The variant was first detected among five community samples obtained from the Dematagoda area in Colombo.
Subsequently, in July 2021, the Ministry of Health stated that the highly transmissible Delta variant has spread to all districts of the island.
Deputy Director General (DDG) of Public Health Services Dr. Hemantha Herath told the media at that time that there could be patients infected with the virus in more or less in all districts. He said that tests carried out thus far had revealed that between 20% and 30% of the Covid-19 infections in the Colombo District in the Western Province are infected with the Delta variant and that it has definitely spread in other districts as well.
“Tests conducted in Sri Lanka so far have estimated that between 20% and 30% of the Covid-19 infected are infected with the Delta variant in Colombo. In other areas it may be more or less and it is difficult to express a definite percentage. However, it has definitely spread in other districts,” he added.
With the spread of the Delta variant, the number of daily Covid-19 infections and Covid-19 deaths has increased significantly in the recent past and the total number of Covid-19 infections reported from Sri Lanka as of 10 a.m. yesterday is 512,531, of which 454,532 have recovered. The number of Covid-19 deaths stood at 12,609.
Sri Lanka, in early last May, detected its first case of the Indian variant in a person who had returned from India. The Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura in a report released in that regard said that the infected person had returned from India and was at a quarantine centre for returnees in Colombo.