New variant of COVID-19 confirmed in Nepal: Health ministry

Published On: May 18, 2021 08:15 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, May 18: One more new variant of the coronavirus has been confirmed in Nepal. 

According to the result of gene sequencing of samples collected from the patients of 35 districts across the country, a B.1.617.2 variant was detected in 97 percent samples while the B.1.617.1 variant was reported from other three percent samples, the health ministry said on Tuesday. The sequencing was carried out at CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in India, a WHO-recognized center of excellence in genomic sequencing. 

According to Dr Sameer Kumar Adhikari, assistant spokesperson for the ministry, B.1.617.2 is the new variant seen in India while B.1.617.1 is the one seen in the UK. Earlier last year, Nepal reported the variant arising from China. With this, three variants of the virus have been detected, Adhikari added. 

The ministry also urged one and all to strictly abide by the public health protocols as the new variant is more infectious than the older ones and even deadlier for the people of all age groups. 

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