The highly infectious K417N, a sub-lineage of B.1.617.2, known as Delta variant of the coronavirus, has been confirmed in swab samples of the infected people in Nepal. The new sub-lineage is also termed “Delta Plus” in India.
According to the Ministry of Health and Population, of the 48 swab samples of infected people, on which whole genome sequencing was performed, the Delta variant of the virus has been detected in swab samples of 47 people.
Among the 47, the new sub-lineage K417N also known as AY.1 has been identified in swab samples of nine infected people.
“The mutation K417N also known as AY.1 has been detected in 10 countries including Nepal as of now,” reads a press statement issued by the Ministry of Health and Population.
Alpha variant of the virus has been detected in swab samples of one infected person.
The National Public Health Laboratory had collected swab samples of infected people of different age groups from May 9 to June 3 from various places throughout the country.
Those swab samples were sent for whole genome sequencing at the World Health Organisation-identified Center for Excellence in Genomic, the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) in Delhi on June 9, according to the Health Ministry.
Along with these, Delta variant ( B.1.617.2), Alpha (B.1.1.7) to which the world Health organisation identified variant of concern and Kappa variant (B.1.617.1), which is termed as variant of interest have been detected in Nepal.
“Studies show these variants are more infectious and affect people of all age groups,” reads the statement.
It is reported that the K417N, sub-lineage of B.1.617.2, known as Delta variant, was first identified in March in Europe, scroll.in quoted VK Paul, chairperson of National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration in India, as saying. The new variant is not yet identified as a variant of concern.
Earlier in May, highly infectious sub-lineages B.1.617.2 and B.1.617.1 were confirmed in Nepal and found responsible for a new surge in the infection.