The public have been urged to restrict unnecessary travel due to the more highly transmissible new variant of the coronavirus being detected in Colombo.

Chief Medical Officer of Health of the Colombo Municipal Council Dr. Ruwan Wijeyamuni said the new variant is speculated to have spread within Colombo.

The new COVID-19 variant was identified by the Director of the Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine of the University of Sri Jayawardenapura Dr. Chandima Jeewandara from samples obtained from Colombo, Biyagama, Avissawella and Vavuniya recently.

Dr. Ruwan Wijeyamuni said as a result, weddings, birthday parties and Nightclubs must be suspended.

Stating that people should refrain from visiting public places with large crowds, he said in the event this is not followed, it could lead to a large scale spread of the virus in Colombo.

Dr. Wijeyamuni explained that the new variant is highly transmissible, and this could result in more people being infected.