A new, more potent and airborne coronavirus strain has been
discovered in Sri Lanka, PTI reported, referring to an immunologist in the
South Asian island nation. The new variant can be airborne for an hour and spreads
faster compared to older strains.

Neelika Malavige, head of the Department of Immunology and
Molecular Sciences at the Sri Jayawardenapura University in the country, said.

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“This variant of coronavirus is more highly transmissible
than all found so far in the island. The new strain is airborne, the droplets
can remain airborne for nearly an hour”, PTI quoted Malavige as saying.

The virus-concern has skyrocketed after last week’s new year
festivities in the country, which, as per health experts, will lead to a
greater number of younger people getting infected.

“In the next two incubation periods, the disease can
progress to a third wave,” Upul Rohana, a health official, was quoted as
saying, adding that the real damage done would only be visible after two to
three weeks.

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As per newer guidelines issued by the ministry of COVID-19
prevention, a 50% attendance would be maintained in most institutions across
the country, with all forms of entertainment coming to a close.

The regulations would be in force till May 31.

Total number of cases, floating around the 150-mark before
New Year festivities, have now increased to about 600 per day.

The current COVID-19 tally in the country stands at 99,691
cases and COVID-19 induced 638 deaths.