The Academy of Health Professionals has raised alarm over the impact the new mutated coronavirus first detected in South Africa could have on Sri Lanka, if it emerges within the country.
The union claims the Ministry of Health has created an ideal environment for the new coronavirus variant to spread in Sri Lanka, if it manages to enter the country.
President of the Association Ravi Kumudesh questioned the government as to how it will identify the variant in passengers from South African countries, at a time when PCR testing at the airport has been halted.
Speaking to NewsRadio, Kumudesh said many laboratories have also stopped testing, when the immunity period of vaccines has passed for a majority of people.
He pointed out that a main method of curbing the viruses’ spread was the on arrival PCR test.
Kumudesh commented that there was potential for the new strain to enter Sri Lanka and spread into the next coronavirus wave.
Meanwhile, The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a new coronavirus variant to be “of concern” and named it Omicron.
The WHO said it had a large number of mutations, and early evidence suggested an increased reinfection risk.
It was first reported to the WHO from South Africa on 24 November, and has also been identified in Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel.