The Indian variant of the coronavirus known as B.1.617, has been detected in Sri Lanka for the first time, it has been confirmed.
Director of the Allergy, Immunity and Cell Biology Unit at the Sri Jayewardenepura University Dr. Chandima Jeewandara, said that the variant was detected in samples obtained from a Covid patient who had returned from India and was in a quarantine center.
The original India variant known as B.1.617 was first detected in India in October.
The number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in India has risen steeply in recent weeks as a result of the novel SARS-CoV-2 variant, B.1.617,
According to medical reports B.1.617 was resistant against Bamlanivimab, an antibody used for COVID-19 treatment.
B.1.617 also evaded antibodies induced by infection or vaccination, although with moderate efficiency.
Last week authorities banned air travelers from India as a precautionary measure.
Meanwhile hours after the WHO approved the Sinopharm vaccine for emergency use worldwide, the expert panel of National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) also approved the vaccine for emergency use in the country.
Vaccine will begin to be administered in SriLanka from today.