Nepal sending UK-returnees’ genes to Hong Kong to confirm if they have 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 8

Nepal is sending genes of three Covid-19 patients to Hong Kong for a test to confirm via gene sequencing if they have the new variant of the coronavirus first detected in the United Kingdom.

Last week, five people who had arrived from the UK had tested positive for the virus. As the mutated variant of the virus had terrorised the European country, these people were also suspected of the new variant infection, but Nepal has not confirmed it yet for the want of test.

But now, their samples are being sent to a WHO lab in Hong Kong for gene sequencing, informs the National Public Health Laboratory. She says samples from three of the infected have been collected for gene sequencing.

“The samples will arrive in the Hong Kong lab by Monday,” the NPHL Director Runa Jha says, “Then, it will take a couple of days for the reports to arrive back.”

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