The B117 variant of coronavirus first detected in the United Kingdom has also been found in Nepal.
The Health Ministry issuing a statement on Monday has said the new variant has been found in three persons who recently returned from Britain.
Six persons returning from Britain had tested positive for SARS-COV-2 a few days back. Their samples were sent to Hong Kong in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO) to see if they were infected with the new variant.
A 28-year-old woman and two men aged 32 and 67 years out of the six have been found to have infected with the new variant when reports arrived Monday. The woman and 32-year-old man have already been cleared of infection while the other man also does not show any symptom.
The newly-identified variant, first recognized in England in late September, has spread to at least 45 countries and prompted lockdowns and new restrictions across Australia.
The variant — officially known at VUI-202012/01 or lineage B117 — is not thought to be more deadly or cause more severe illness. But over time, a variant that infects more people will inevitably drive up rates of infection, hospitalizations and death, potentially posing a significant threat to countries already struggling to contain COVID-19.
In December, when it was first revealed the new variant was circulating in south-east England, UK authorities said it could be up to 70 per cent more transmissible than previously circulating SARS-CoV-2. In recent weeks, a handful of preliminary reports and epidemiological observations have helped to pinpoint the effect of the new variant, with several suggesting an increase in transmissibility of around 50 per cent.
Published Date: Monday, Magh 5, 2077, 14:19:00