Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population on July 27, 2021, confirmed the detection of the mutant Kappa variant (B.1.617.1) of COVID-19’s Delta variant. Nepal had already confirmed the presence of Alpha and Delta variants in the country.
In recent testing of 47 samples for COVID-19, the Delta variant was found in them all. However, the new mutant known as K417N of the Delta variant was found in three of them, informed Nepal’s Health Ministry.
The release by the Nepal government stated that the Kappa mutant of the Delta variant is more likely to infect people across all age groups, and is more fatal than the mutants detected before.
Nepal’s Health Ministry has warned its people to follow COVID appropriate behavior and prepare for the third wave of COVID-19. Experts state the third wave is expected to be more deadly than the first and second waves.
What is Kappa variant (B.1.617.1)?
•The Kappa (B.1.617.1) and Delta (B.1.617.2) variants are the mutants of the B.1.617 variant that was earlier commonly referred to as the Double Mutant or ‘Indian variant’.
•The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified the Kappa variant as Variant of Interest (VoI).
Why were the COVID-19 variants labeled?
•In order to end the linkage of the variants with origin countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) named these variants after the letters of the Greek alphabet.
•As per WHO, the new naming system aims at making the discussion of variants as simple, easy to say, and remember as possible.
Naming of different COVID-19 variants
•The UK variant (B.1.1.7) was named Alpha, the South Africa variant (B.1.351) was named Beta, and the Brazil variant (P.1) was named Gamma.
•Nepal on July 27, 2021, reported a total of 3,899 new COVID-19 cases. The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is 7,42,817. A total of 6,47,079 people recovered from the virus and 9,758 people have died of it.
•A total of 30,009 active COVID-19 cases were reported till July 27, 2021, of which 2,898 found to be hospitalized, 611 were in ICUs, and 171 on ventilators.
•With a ‘per day’ positivity rate is 22.25 per cent and a death rate of 1.5 per cent, the overall current positivity rate of Nepal is 94.4 per cent.
•Nepal has conducted a total of 12,655 swab samples using the RT-PCR test, 2,726 turned up COVID positive and 4,863 underwent Rapid Antigen Tests of which 1,173 turned up COVID positive.