Omicron variant detected in 24 swab specimens in Nepal

This image shows a vehicle parked on the premises of the National Public Health Laboratory, in Tripura Marg, Kathmandu in May 2021. Photo courtesy: Deepak Shrestha

KATHMANDU: National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) under the Ministry of Health and Population has detected the omicron variant of coronavirus in 24 swab specimens.

The NPHL regularly conducts S-Gene screening on samples testing positive for the coronavirus infection in the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and antigen tests in the random sampling method.

while S-Gene screening a total of 1,146 samples collected from mid-December to mid-January, 250 samples were detected S-Gene Negative. Out of the samples with S-Gene Negative, omicron variant was detected in 24 samples, the statement issued by the NPHL read.

With the recent detection of omicron variant, health authorities have urged the hospitals and health institutions and health professionals to ready the supplements including oxygen needed for the treatment of Covid 19 patients.

The first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on November 9, 2021, according to WHO.

Likewise, the authorities have also heightened the PCR and antigen tests in the border areas and arranged for the isolation for people testing positive for Covid 19.

Similarly, Bir Hospital; Civil Service Hospital of Nepal; Shree Birendra Hospital (SBH), Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj; Provincial Public Health Laboratory, Province 2 and Bheri Hospital have been facilitated to conduct S-Gene screening.

Meanwhile, the health officials have urged all the citizens to adopt health protocols and ensure full dose vaccination citing that the coronavirus cases may surge due to the omicron variant which has a higher transmission capacity.

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