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Omicron: 25 Birgunj samples to be tested in Kathmandu

2022 Jan 07, 15:33, Birgunj
Photo: AP Illustration

Twenty-five samples from Birgunj have been sent to Kathmandu for gene sequencing to find the variant of the coronavirus.

The 25 samples that tested positive in Birgunj were sent to the National Public Health Laboratory, Teku, for gene sequencing. Out of the 25 samples sent to Kathmandu, 11 tested positive during PCR tests, and 14 tested positive during antigen tests.

Gene sequencing reveals the type of virus that infects people. Lately, the omicron variant of the coronavirus has spread rapidly. As the number of infected people is increasing in Birgunj, gene sequencing is being done to find out whether the virus is omicron or a variant already present in Nepal.

"The S-gene test kit is available only in Kathmandu. After the S-gene test, the samples that come back negative are sequenced," Dr Prabhakar Pandey said, "We have sent samples for further research. Once the report is received, it will be known which variant is infected."

Infection is spreading rapidly in the Indian state of Bihar bordering Birgunj. Since Thursday, pre-school and classes 1 to 8 with physical attendance have been stopped and online teaching has been started. Classes 9 to 12 are taught with participation of 50 percent of the students. Similarly, the cinema halls have been asked to operate at 50 percent capacity and the number of participants in weddings has also been fixed.

The number of infected people has increased at the health desk set up in the Birgunj-Raksaul area. In Birgunj, 22 people have been infected with coronavirus since December 23.


National Public Health Laboratory Teku Birgunj Kathmandu Gene Sequencing Raksaul OMICRON coronavirus covid-19
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