The highly transmissible Delta variant of coronavirus is spreading rapidly across Sri Lanka and comprise around 30 per cent of the new cases reported in Colombo, the health authorities said on Monday, advising the government to stop relaxing travel restrictions. Deputy Director-General of health services Dr Hemantha Herath told reporters that the Delta variant, first reported in India, has also spread to the southern districts of Galle, and Matara, as well as to the northern districts of Jaffna and Kilinochchi.
We have noticed that between 25-30 per cent of new cases reported from Colombo are of the Delta variant, Herath said. The health officials said that about 35 cases of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, have been found in Sri Lanka so far.
Sri Lanka is fighting the third wave of coronavirus. More than 1,000 new COVID-19 infections are recorded daily, in addition to nearly 50 deaths. The authorities have relaxed restrictions placed since early May. Still inter-provincial travel remains in limbo until August 1.
The first detected five cases of the Delta variant came from Colombo on June 17. The public health inspectors have advised the government against further relaxing travel restrictions.
Sri Lanka has recorded near 300,000 cases since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 with deaths nearing 3,700. Over 256,000 people have recovered from the virus.