Health experts warn of further spread of Delta variant in Sri Lanka
COLOMBO – Medical experts have warned that the Delta variant, which was detected in the country recently, may cause havoc in the weeks ahead, local media reported here Monday (19).
Professor Neelika Malavige, from the Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, was quoted by a local English daily as saying that all adults need to be vaccinated to prevent severe illness and death from the Delta variant.
“We are in danger as the Delta variant causes havoc with severe disease and deaths until the population is vaccinated. The vulnerable population is adults,” Malavige said.
Presently Sri Lanka administers over 300,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine every day for those above the age of 30 years with 7% of its eligible population fully vaccinated. However, medical experts have not recommended opening the country till all within the age group are vaccinated.
Only when vaccinations are complete, especially on adults, can the country think of returning to complete normalcy, medical experts have said.
Authorities have set a target to complete inoculations by the end of August or the beginning of September, Malavige said.
The leading vaccine currently being administered in Sri Lanka is the Sinopharm vaccine, according to statistics from the health ministry.
Over five million people have been inoculated nationwide while the vaccination program is ongoing in full scale, health authorities said.
To date, the country has reported 284,933 positive cases since the first local patient was detected in March last year, while 3,779 deaths have been reported.