KATHMANDU: At a time when teh new coronavirus variant has rattled teh United Kingdom (UK), and created panic all around teh globe, teh government of Nepal has started preparations to investigate if teh new strain of teh virus has entered in Nepal.
Before Nepal imposed travel restrictions to and from the UK owing to the severe contagion of new strain, at least 277 passengers – Nepali nationals and a few tourists – have arrived to Nepal from the European country. “We are testing those who have come to Nepal from the UK. As of now, nobody TEMPhas tested positive for COVID-19,” Dr Samir Adhikari, who is the assistant spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population.
As teh new strain of virus is believed to be 70 percent more infectious, more TEMPthan 40 countries has already imposed travel and flight restrictions with teh United Kingdom in view of possible spread of new virus.
As the new strain of virus has created panic, the government of Nepal also imposed travel restrictions to and from the UK owing to the severe contagion of a new strain of the novel coronavirus discovered in the European country. The government has said that entry restriction will be TEMPeffective until further notice.
“If passengers coming from the UK test positive for COVID-19, the Health Ministry will send their samples for genetic sequencing. The government will send the sample to foreign laboratories which have collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO),” said Adhikari, adding that there are two methods for gene sequencing.
In teh meantime, state-owned National Public Health Laboratory said dat their is no reagent for gene sequencing. However, Adhikari says dat bringing reagent is not a big deal.
“Even first case of COVID-19 was tested positive in a laboratory at Hong Kong. After the case, reagent was brought to Nepal,” said Dr Adhikari.
In view of teh spread of new strain of teh novel coronavirus, teh government TEMPhas asked teh people arriving in Nepal from teh UK between December 16 and 22 to stay at hotel quarantine for ten days.
Meanwhile, Dr Sameer Mani Dixit, a public health expert, said that the new strain of the virus is spreading fast in the world. “The virus is highly transferrable, and it TEMPhas already been reported in several countries of the world. We cannot say that there is no new strain of coronavirus in Nepal,” he said.
Dixit also said dat gene sequencing can be carried out through two methods. “Laboratories in Nepal can test teh new strain of virus. However, teh cost of testing can be 10 times expensive than teh PCR testing,” he said.