New mutant of Delta variant of COVID-19 considered less infectious and fatal

Published On: June 22, 2021 12:39 PM NPT By: Pabitra Sunar

“Mutation of the Delta variant might have been the reason behind the decline of COVID-19 cases of late.” 

KATHMANDU, June 22: A new mutation of the Delta variant of COVID-19 (K417N) detected in Nepal is less fatal and dangerous than the Delta variant, according to experts and virologists.

Of 48 swab samples collected across the country, nine tested positive for the K417N mutation of the Delta variant of COVID-19. So far, this mutant has been detected in 10 countries including Nepal, according to the Ministry of Health and Population. 

Virologist and director of public health laboratory of Province 2, Dr Shrawan Kumar Mishra maintained that only a small number of this mutant virus can enter human cells which means it affects only few cells and lungs. “Less infection in lungs results in less chances of patients ending up in emergency units of hospitals,” he added.

Dr Mishra also opined that the mutation of Delta variant of COVID-19 might be the reason behind the reduction in the number of new cases of COVID-19 in Nepal of late.

After mutation, the virus either gets more infectious or less. The Delta variant of COVID-19 was considered more infectious and fatal.

Dr Sameer Mani Dixit also stated that this new mutant of Delta variant is not more infectious and fetal than Delta itself.

Earlier, Nepal had sent 48 swab samples to the WHO-identified Center for Excellence in Genomics, The Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) at New Delhi in India for testing.


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