Nepal confirms new Covid-19 variant

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Nepal’s health authorities confirmed that three variants of the virus have been detected so far…reports Asian Lite News

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 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 center of excellence in genomic sequencing, the release stated.

A health worker is seen at an isolation ward of a hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal,

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 the 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.

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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.

Meanwhile, Nepal received a second shipment of China-donated oxygen cylinders as the Himalayan country is continuing to face an acute shortage of medical oxygen supply for a growing number of Covid-19 patients.

A Nepal Airlines plane landed at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu at 2.30 p.m. on Sunday with the oxygen cylinders and concentrators from China, Dim Prasad Poudel, managing director of the airline, told Xinhua news agency.

The first batch had arrived on May 10.

Nepal

According to Nepal’s Ministry of Finance, there is an agreement with China for the delivery of oxygen cylinders on a grant basis, and some of them will be brought by air while the rest will be sent through the land route with Tibet.

Poudel said the Nepal Airlines will send planes to get back the remaining oxygen cylinders from China.

“We are trying to communicate with the Chinese side to know when the cylinders would arrive at the border point,” said Narad Gautam from the bordering Tatopani Customs Office in the Sindhupalchowk district.

Jageshwor Gautam, spokesperson at the Nepali Health Ministry, told Xinhua last week that China-donated oxygen cylinders would be distributed to large government-run hospitals in the Kathmandu Valley, and a few would be sent to the crisis-hit provinces. (ANI/IANS)

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