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Health Ministry checking if Lambda is here

2 years ago

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  • PCR samples sent for gene sequencing

By Buddhika Samaraweera   The Health Ministry has stated that polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test samples are currently being directed for gene sequencing to ascertain if anyone in the country has been infected with the latest variant of Covid-19 – the C.37 Lambda, and to take steps to inform the public immediately if this is the case. When contacted by The Morning, Health Ministry Communications Director, Public Health Services Deputy Director General, and Disaster Preparedness and Response Division Head Dr. Hemantha Herath said that health authorities are on alert, as the Lambda variant of Covid-19 was found to be spreading in more than 30 countries. However he added that the spread of any variant could be brought under control if the people adhered to the prescribed health guidelines. ”The spread of any variant can be controlled if people follow the health guidelines properly, such as by wearing facemasks properly, by maintaining social distance, and by washing hands with soap and water. This is because so far, no variants have been found that can transcend the health guidelines,” he added. The Lambda variant, also known as lineage C.37, is a variant of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes Covid-19 and it was first detected in Peru in December 2020. On 14 June 2021, the World Health Organisation (WHO) named it the Lambda variant, and designated it as a variant of interest. It has since spread to at least 30 countries, and is said to be more resistant to Covid- 19 vaccines compared to other variants, while also being more infectious than the B.1.1.7 Alpha or P.1 Gamma variants.