People receive Johnson & Johnson vaccine against the coronavirus disease at Nepal Disabled Association Khagendra New Life Centre in Kathmandu (Reuters)
KATHMANDU: Nepal on Tuesday has confirmed infection of a new mutant of Covid-19’s Delta variant as the cases continues to rise with the relaxation of prohibitory orders.
Nepal’s ministry of health and population confirmed the presence of Kappa variant (B.1.617.1), a variant of interest amongst others. The Himalayan nation already has reported cases of Alta and Delta variants.
“All 47 samples tested recently were confirmed to be Delta variant. However, three of them are found to be new mutant known as K417N of the Delta variant,” the ministry said in a release.
Nepal has so far recognized Alfa (B.1.617.1) and Deta variant (B.1.617.2) as variant of concern and Kappa variant (B.1.617.1) as variant of interest.
“It is said that the newly-detected mutant of the Delta variant is more fatal than the mutants detected before. These mutants are likely to infect people with all age groups,” read the release.
The MoHP has urged all people to take extra precautions and follow health safety standards to avoid possible infection of this virus.
The ministry has also asked all to prepare for the third wave of Covid-19 which experts have said would be far more challenging than the first wave and the second waves of the pandemic.
Nepal on Tuesday itself recorded a total of 3,899 new cases of Covid-19 taking the national tally to 742,817. A total of 12,655 swab samples using RT-PCR method, of which 2,726 returned positive and 4863 people underwent antigen tests for the virus, of which an additional 1,173 tested positive.
Of total tests, 21.54% of the PCR and 24.12% of antigen samples returned positive, keeping the overall per-day positivity rate at 22.25%. As of today, there are 30,009 active cases across the country. Of them, 2,898 are hospitalised, 611 in intensive care units and 171 on ventilators.
In the past 24 hours, 1,778 people have achieved recovery whereas 20 deaths have been reported. Of the total cases so far, 647,079 people have recovered. Likewise, 9,758 died, according to the ministry.
Likewise, 1,457,670 people have been fully vaccinated whereas 3,462,340 have been vaccinated with a single dose. Nepal’s current positivity rate is 94.4% whereas the death rate is 1.5%.