Nepal confirms presence of third and new variant of coronavirus


Kathmandu, May 19 

After confirming two variants of coronavirus, Nepal on Tuesday confirmed that there were cases of third variant B.1.617.2 in the country.

Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population said three variants of the virus have been detected.

“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 virus have been detected,” Dr Sameer Kumar Adhikari, Assistant Spokesperson for ministry stated in the release.

“According to result of gene sequencing of samples collected from the patients of 35 districts across the country, B.1.617.2 variant was detected in 97 per cent samples while the B.1.617.1 variant was reported from other three per cent samples,” Adhikari added.

The sequencing was carried out at CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in India, a WHO-recognized centre of excellence in genomic sequencing, the release stated.

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

Nepal on Tuesday recorded as many as 8,203 new cases of COVID-19 along with 6,891 recoveries and 196 deaths.

A total of 20,979 samples were tested till Tuesday afternoon and 8,203 tested positive for COVID-19.

Nepal’s total count of COVID-19 cases stands at 372,354 including 352,414 recoveries and 5,411 deaths.

There are 107,082 COVID-19 patients in home isolation, 7,447 in institutional isolations, 1,590 in ICUs and 390 on ventilators as of Tuesday. ANI



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