Nepal confirms infection of new coronavirus variant

A computer rendering of the surface of SARS-CoV-2, the virus strain that causes COVID-19. Photo Courtesy: CDC

Kathmandu, January 18

The government of Nepal has confirmed that the mutated variant of coronavirus that was first detected in the United Kingdom some weeks ago has already spread in Nepal.

Some days ago, Nepal had sent genes of three Covid-19 patients, who had returned from the United Kingdom, to Hong Kong for a test to confirm via gene sequencing if they had the new variant of the coronavirus. The Ministry of Health and Population says the Hong Kong lab sent back the results today, confirming the new type of infection in them.

The ministry says the newly infected cases are a 28-year-old woman, a 32-year-old man and a 67-year-old man. Of them, two younger patients have already tested negative for the virus whereas the sexagenarian is also free of the symptoms.

While the new variant was terrorising the UK, five people who had arrived from the European country had tested positive for the virus. Initially, also, these people were also suspected of the new variant infection, but Nepal had failed to confirm it on time for the want of gene sequencing tools.

Meanwhile, the ministry has urged the public to protect themselves from the infection by maintaining needful measures such as masks, sanitiser and physical distancing.

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