Sinopharm effective against Delta variant, Sri Lankan study says

Colombo, Jul 20 (EFE).- A group of scientists from Sri Lanka’s University of Sri Jayawardenapura University have asserted in a study published on Tuesday that Chinese anti-Covid vaccine Sinopharm is effective against the Delta variant of coronavirus.

The results of the study, published in the online repository of scientific articles medRxiv, said that Sinopharm “appeared to induce a similar level of antibody responses” against the Delta and Beta variants of the virus.

After carrying out the study on 282 people, the authors said that the Chinese vaccine achieved a 95 percent antibody response (seroconversion) against the spike protein of SARS-COV-2.

The report comes even as Sri Lanka is trying to check a surge in Covid cases due to the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, first identified in neighboring India.

The president of the Sri Lanka Medical Association, Padma Gunaratne, told reporters on Tuesday that the country could soon face a fourth wave of the pandemic and warned that restrictions on people’s movements have not been very effective in controlling infections.

Restrictions were imposed in mid-May, but have been relaxed since then and are currently only limited to movement between provinces.

On Tuesday the island nation detected nearly 1,500 fresh infections, taking the total caseload to 277,710.

The deputy director general of the Health Service, Hemantha Herath, said this week that around 25-30 percent of the fresh infections detected in Colombo were caused by the more infectious Delta strain.

As the Covid numbers have surged, authorities have tried to boost the vaccination drive – with Sinopharm being used as the main serum – through a door-to-door immunization program.

“We are doing this for those who can’t physically come to vaccination centers, such as the elderly and the differentlty-abled,” health ministry spokesperson Mindika Pitawala told EFE about the campaign, launched on Friday. EFE

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