KATHMANDU, Jan 18: Three Nepali nationals who had returned from the United Kingdom have tested positive for the new variant of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health and Population confirmed.
After the samples of six UK-returnees tested s-gene target negative, the government sent their samples to a Hong Kong-based laboratory suspecting a new variant of coronavirus. “Of the six samples sent for testing, three have tested positive for the new variant,” confirmed the health ministry issuing a press statement.
The government had sent their samples to the laboratory of the University of Hong Kong in collaboration with the World Health Organization on January 11.
Those testing positive for the new variant of coronavirus are a 28 years old female, and a 68 years and a 32 years old males.
According to the ministry, a 28-year-old female and 32-year-old male have already tested negative for COVID-19 during a RT-PCR test. “Although the 67-year-old male is yet to test negative, he is asymptomatic,” the ministry added.
The new strain of the virus is believed to be 70 percent more infectious. As the new strain of the virus is more infectious, over 40 countries have already imposed travel and flight restrictions with the United Kingdom in view of possible spread of the new virus.
As the new strain of the virus has created panic around the world, the government of Nepal has already imposed travel restrictions to and from the UK owing to the severe contagion of the new strain of the novel coronavirus discovered in the European country. The government has said that entry restriction will be effective until further notice.
According to the health ministry, at least 277 passengers – Nepali nationals and a few foreigners – had arrived in Nepal from the UK before the government imposed the travel restrictions.
As the new variant has been found in Nepal, the health ministry has requested people to follow health safety protocols to stay safe during this difficult time.