Sri Lanka is on high alert over a new coronavirus variant named A.30, which can evade Pfizer and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.
State Minister Channa Jayasumana said the new variant had been identified as highly-efficient in escaping vaccine-induced antibodies.
“The world especially European countries is also on high alert over the new variant and so is Sri Lanka,” he underlined.
“If the variant spreads rapidly during the upcoming winter season, there could be a devastating situation wreaking havoc in the world,” he added.
The new variant has been identified by a group of German researchers.
According to foreign media reports, the A.30 variant was last seen in May and June of 2021; three of them are in Angola, one is in Sweden and one more exists in the United Kingdom.
Nevertheless, some scientists are of the opinion that the variant is most likely already extinct and there is no need to be overly concerned about it since only four cases of the variant have been recorded in the world, none in the past five months.