‘Super Delta’ Spreading in SL?
By J.T. de Silva
Professor Neelika Malavige of the Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences and Dr. Chandima Jeewandara of the Department of Allergy and Immunology of the Sri Jayewardenepura University, said the Delta variant of COVID-19 is spreading like wildfire in Colombo and that there is great risk of it reaching other parts of the country.
They pointed out that the Delta variant has gone beyond the Alpha variant and is spreading rapidly, while the variant that is newly spreading in the country could be a ‘super Delta’ variant.
Five persons infected with the Delta variant were found for the first time in July from Aarama Place in Dematagoda and subsequently 292 persons who had contracted this variant of the virus had been identified.
Dr. Jeewandara said if the vaccination drive meets its target of 80 per cent by the end of September, there is a hope of controlling it. President of the Sri Lanka Medical Association, Consultant Dr. Padma Gunaratne emphasised the fact that there is a new variant of the Delta variant spreading in Colombo and that it is believed that it will spread to other parts of the country as well. Dr. Gunaratne also said 9 COVID deaths occur every hour.
Dr. Gunaratne, who said the World Health Organization (WHO) has predicted that if the country is closed until 18 September, it would be possible to save 7,500 lives, also mentioned that if the country is closed until 3 October, 10,000 lives can be saved.
She said a report on this has been handed over to the Government. Dr. Gunaratne, who said it is doubtful whether the disease can be brought under control due to the prevailing situation, pointed out that people are still gathering in large groups and said if this is not halted, the lockdown will have to be extended further.