Nepal has reported new mutant of COVID-19 Delta variant. The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) on Tuesday said that a new Kappa variant has been detected in the country.

Earlier, the country has reported cases of Alfa and Delta variants. Issuing a press statement, MoHP confirmed that all 47 samples tested recently were confirmed to be Delta variant.

Likewise, three of them are found to be a new mutant known as K417N of the Delta variant, according to MoHP. The three new Delta mutants confirmed in Nepal have been named as A.Y1.

Nepal has so far recognized Alfa (B.1.617.1) and Deta variant (B.1.617.2) as variant of concern and Kappa variant (B.1.617.1) as variant of interest.

The World Health Organization has designated four variants – Eta, Iota, Kappa and Lambda – as variants of interest.

It is said that the newly detected mutant of the Delta variant is more fatal than the mutants detected before. These mutants are likely to infect people of all age groups.

MoHP has urged all people to take extra precautions and follow health safety standards to avoid possible infection of this virus. The ministry has also asked one and all to prepare for the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic.

As many as 2,726 new cases of coronavirus infection were reported in the country on Tuesday, including 774 in Kathmandu valley.

This is the highest number of cases in the past 1.5 months.

With this, Nepal’s COVID total caseload has reached 685,673, including 647,079 recoveries, 28,836 active cases, and 9,758 deaths.

Similarly, as many as 1,173 people tested positive for antigens on Tuesday while 20 COVID patients died on the same day.

According to MoHP, Nepal’s case fatality rate stands at 1.5 per cent with 91 of the COVID victims being children and teenagers; 295 between the age group 20-29; 810 between the age group 30- 39; 1,405 between the age group 40- 49; 1,914 between the age group 50- 59; and 5,236 were aged 60 and above.

So far, 94.4 per cent of COVID patients have recovered in Nepal.

The total number of people who have been vaccinated in Nepal with the first dose stands at 3,462,340. Of these, 1,457,670 have received the second dose as well.

Public Health expert Sarad Wanta said, “Now that the prohibitory orders have been relaxed, people’s movement has gained momentum and people are not strictly adhering to health safety protocols. As people have started to ignore health safety protocols, a rise in daily cases and a third wave is inevitable.”

Keeping in mind the possible third wave, MoHP on Monday asked the provincial logistic management centers to keep at least 1,000 filled oxygen cylinders as back-up, fix defunct oxygen plants and oxygen concentrators and keep the oxygen tanks in working conditions.

As per MoHP, 10 districts have more than 500 active cases and 26 districts have over 200 cases as of Tuesday.