Nepal confirms cases of Omicron sub-variant JN1

KATHMANDU: Nepal on Monday confirmed cases of Omicron sub-variant JN1. In a press release, the Ministry of Health and Population confirmed that seven cases relating to the new sub-variant of Omicron have been found after a gene sequencing procedure.
As per the release, a total of 16 samples that tested positive for Covid-19 under going antigen and PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) were further sent for gene sequencing out of which 7 carried the new omicron sub-variant JN1.
The ministry hasn’t specified where and when the samples were taken. Nepal in the recent weeks has started recording surge in Covid-19 cases, especially those returning from India, as per the ministry.
“With surge in new sub-variant of Covid-19, all the health desks at the checkpoints and health posts are hereby requested to continue necessary screening and surveillance, as well as those medical institutions that provide health services regarding the issue, which are also instructed to make arrangements accordingly,” the release of Monday evening stated.
Nepal earlier saw a surge in Covid-19 infection during the first, second and third waves, which claimed about 12,000 lives.
Public health measures were then lifted following the decline in the infection rate of the Omicron variant in 2021.
The World Health Organisation classifies JN.1 as a separate ‘variant of interest’ given its rapid spread around the globe. The UN health body, however, said that based on available data, “the additional public health risk posed by JN.1 is currently evaluated as low”.
Several countries, including China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore, have reported upticks in new coronavirus cases.
The JN.1 strain, first detected in September in the United States, is a descendant of BA.2.86, a highly mutated variant of the Omicron strain of Covid-19.
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