The Health Desk at the Birgunj crossing between Nepal and India identified two individuals carrying the new variant of COVID-19, JN.1, through antigen tests.

Lab technician Nisha Sah reported that one Nepali citizen and one Indian citizen, both of whom had traveled from Kolkata by train, tested positive on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

The infected Nepali citizen has been admitted to the isolation ward at Narayani Hospital in Birgunj, while the Indian citizen was handed over to Indian authorities. The Health Desk conducted antigen tests on over 100 individuals on Wednesday and Thursday, screening those crossing the border.

Suman Chandra Thakur, public health inspector of Birgunj Metropolitan City, stated that samples from the infected individuals have been sent to the provincial health laboratory in Janakpur for gene sequencing.

Currently, the Health Desk screens approximately 200 to 250 people daily, with 50 to 60 individuals undergoing antigen tests.