- 95% of COVID-19 spread is due to Omicron variant: HPB
- Omicron wave has already begun, health officials say
- Add that there is community spread as well
- Total detections rise to 608,065
By Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya
Daily detections remain above 900 for the third consecutive day with 961 persons testing positive for COVID-19 yesterday.
According to health officials, the Omicron variant is now the dominant variant in the country.
“Laboratory studies confirm that over 95% of COVID-19 spread in Sri Lanka is the Omicron variant. With this, patient detections are rising,” Health Promotion Bureau Director Dr. Ranjith Batuwanthudawe said.
According to National Hospital of Sri Lanka Physician Dr. Upul Dissanayake, the COVID-19 wave due to Omicron has already begun in Sri Lanka. “What we are now seeing of the wave is a rising tsunami,” he said, adding that there is community spread of the variant.
Despite this, health officials on Thursday revised guidelines, saying close contacts who are asymptomatic and fully vaccinated need not undergo quarantine. The reason for this, according to Health Services Deputy Director Dr. Hemantha Herath, is that the viral load released to the environment by persons who are fully vaccinated and asymptomatic is minimal.
In terms of the patients detected yesterday, the Department of Government Information states that 957 persons from the New Year cluster and four overseas arrivals tested positive for COVID-19.
The previous day, 926 persons from the New Year cluster, 13 persons from the Prisons cluster and three overseas arrivals tested positive for COVID-19. The Health Promotion Bureau states that 7,956 PCR tests and 8,020 rapid antigen tests were conducted on Thursday.
A total of 608,065 persons have tested positive for COVID-19 in the country. This includes 502,745 persons from the New Year cluster, 82,785 persons from the Peliyagoda cluster, 9,111 persons from the Prisons cluster and 3,059 persons from the Divulapitiya cluster.
According to the Epidemiology Unit, 123,443 patients from Colombo, 104,606 patients from Gampaha, 54,905 patients from Kalutara, 39,931 patients from Galle, and 29,178 patients from Kurunegala have been detected.
During the third wave of the pandemic, 91,146 persons from Colombo, 86,072 persons from Gampaha, and 47,847 persons from Kalutara have tested positive for COVID-19. The Epidemiology Unit states that 15,365 persons are currently under medical and home-based care and 2,142 persons suspected of having COVID-19 are under observation.
The country’s COVID-19 recoveries rose to 577,314 with 284 persons released from care yesterday.