Thursday Dec 8, 2022
Thursday Dec 8, 2022

New variant of COVID-19 reported in Nepal

2021 Apr 12, 22:52, Kathmandu
A health worker administers the COVISHIELD vaccine for COVID-19 at a residential area in Ahmedabad, India, Sunday, April 4, 2021. Photo: AP via RSS

As many new cases of Covid-19 were being reported in the country lately, the detection of new variant of the infection has caused concern among the experts since it seems to be more contagious.

Dr Sagarraj Bhandari, Director at the Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Diseases Hospital at Teku, urged one and all to have health precautions to prevent the virus. “The new variant is of the earlier virus which is very infectious,” informed Dr Bhandari, pressing for the need to adhere to the health protocols to prevent the deadly infection.

The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) Monday reported 496 new cases of coronavirus infection in Nepal. The addition of new cases has taken the country's COVID-19 tally to 280,524.

As many as 138 patients of COVID-19 have recovered in the past 24 hours. With this, a total of 274,165 persons infected with coronavirus in the country have recovered as of Monday. At present, the recovery rate stands at 97.7 per cent as per the data released by the MoHP.

Likewise, altogether 3,053 people have succumbed to Covid-19 till date in the country, according to the Ministry.

Spokesperson at the Hospital Dr Anup Bastola opined that the new variant of Coronavirus was detected since there was not strict adherence to the health protocol.

He further shared that coronavirus spread rapidly through school, crowded places/spaces such as public transport and party palaces among others.

The new variant of the virus has been reported in children, youth and people below 50 years. More and more new cases of Covid-19 were reported in the country lately due to the new variant of coronavirus, according to Dr Bastola.

The country witnessed a total of 496 new cases of infection in the past 24 hours against 303 on Sunday.

At present, four infected are on ventilator support at Shukraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, one at Teaching Hospital, five at Patan Hospital and one at HAMS Hospital.

This type of virus has shot up at the community level, said Dr Bastola. “Symptoms of the virus last long and it is difficult to identify it,” he said. The infected contracting this virus has many possibilities to contract pneumonia and the death rate from it is 1.6 per cent higher than the virus surfaced previously.

According to him, at present, 15 to 20 per cent of children have been infected with the virus as compared to five per cent last year. Infected children have shown fever, diarrhoea and the common cold.

Director of the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, Dr Krishna Poudel has said new variant of the infection has increased. Sample tests confirmed that more than 200 people have been infected with this type of virus. "New variant of the virus has been detected in sample tests. This new type of virus has been proved by detecting S gene during sample tests," informed Dr Poudel. ‘Gene sequencing’ determines a new type of virus. However, he lamented, Nepal lacks workforce well-versed in this technique.

Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu University and the National Public Health Laboratory coordinating efforts to manage ‘gene sequencing' of the virus.

According to the information officer at the Laboratory, Rajesh Gupta, ‘gene sequencing’ would take place in the country within a week of the import of equipment for the technique which is in progress.

Currently, Nepal has been sending samples for ‘gene sequencing’ to Hong Kong in coordination with the World Health Organization. 


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