Nepal's Ministry of Health and Population said that of the 35 samples that had been sent for gene sequencing to CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in India, B.1.617.2 was detected in 34 samples
In a disconcerting development for the entire region, Nepal government on Tuesday confirmed that the third variant of the coronavirus – B.1.617.2 – has been detected, signifying that three known variants of the virus are currently active in the country.
Nepal's Ministry of Health and Population said that of the 35 samples that had been sent for gene sequencing to CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in India, a WHO recognised centre of excellence in genomic sequencing, B.1.617.2 was detected in 34 samples. The remaining sample showed the presence of the B.1.617.1 variant.
"The Health Ministry further urged the people to strictly adhere to the prescribed health protocols as the new variant has been found to be more infectious than the older ones while also posing higher health risks for people of all age groups," reported Kathmandu's leading daily The Himalayan Times today.
Nepal said that WHO had, on May 10, declared this variant as a variant of global concern.
Earlier in January 2021, the UK variant – B.1.1.7 – was identified in three samples sent for sequencing to Hong Kong. Lineage B.1.617 variant or G/452R.V3 is one of the known variants of Covid-19 causing SARS-CoV-2. Later in May 2021, B.167.2 – the one behind the second wave of the uncontrollable pandemic in India – was declared a 'variant of concern' based on its assessment of transmissibility as evidence of higher transmissibility and reduced neutralisation, the newspaper said.