Sri Lanka detects the first case of the omicron variant

Colombo, Dec 3 (EFE).- Sri Lanka announced Friday having detected the first case of the omicron variant of the coronavirus in its territory.

A Sri Lankan national who had returned from South Africa was detected with the latest variant of Covid-19.

Sri Lanka’s Deputy Director of Health Services, Hemantha Herath, made the announcement at a press conference and stressed that all necessary measures were being taken to mitigate the risk.

“There is no reason to panic,” Herath stressed.

The announcement comes after the country’s authorities banned the entry of people who had visited South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Eswatini (former Swaziland) in the last 14 days.

Despite concerns over the spread of the omicron variant worldwide, the government has decided against imposing lockdowns during the upcoming holiday season, providing respite for its troubled economy.

The island country has already withdrawn most of the restrictions put in place to check the spread of Covid-19 infections, and has pushed its vaccination program.

Currently, 13.7 million people, or 85 percent of the eligible population, have received both doses of the vaccine, while 15.9 million others have received the first dose.

In the last 24 hours, Sri Lanka reported 738 cases of the coronavirus and 27 deaths, according to health ministry data.

The country has recorded a total 565,471 cases of the coronavirus over 14,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic. EFE


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