The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) in Nepal has expressed growing concern over the increasing infection rate of the latest sub-variant of Coronavirus, JN.1, detected in the country.

Seven out of sixteen samples tested at the National Public Health Laboratory last Monday revealed the presence of this highly transmissible sub-variant, which is identified as the newest form of the Omicron variant.

In response, the MoHP has urged the public to exercise precautionary measures, emphasizing the importance of wearing face masks, maintaining physical distance, and practicing regular hand hygiene in crowded settings.

The focus on screening and preventive measures is particularly significant as COVID-19 infections have been identified among Nepali nationals returning from various cities in India. The authorities have made COVID-19 testing mandatory in Nepal-India border areas.

Gauriphanta checkpoint, a major entry point for individuals returning from India, has reported ten confirmed cases of coronavirus among returnees. The Chief of the Health Desk at Gauriphanta, Ganesh Saud, mentioned that antigen tests are being conducted, and those testing positive are advised to undergo home isolation.

Meanwhile, the District Health Office in Kanchanpur has reported no confirmed cases among Nepali returnees using the Gaddachauki checkpoint so far.