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    Nepal Prime Minister Deuba Acknowledges “A New Variant Of COVID Has Been Detected In Nepal”

    HealthCOVID-19Nepal Prime Minister Deuba Acknowledges "A New Variant Of...
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    Nepal Prime Minister Deuba Acknowledges “A New Variant Of COVID Has Been Detected In Nepal”

    Addressing provincial chief ministers and government functionaries in an online interaction, Prime Minister Deuba spoke of “a new variant of COVID”.

    Nepal’s prime minister, Sher Bahadur Deuba, yesterday said that a new variant of COVID-19 has been detected in Nepal. Deuba said this while addressing a virtual interaction with the chief ministers of the country’s seven provinces and the concerned ministers of the federal government on Monday.

    Deuba did not mention the Omicron strain (B.1.1.529) of the SARS-CoV-19 virus during his address wired from Kathmandu’s Singh Durbar, according to Radio Nepal.

    Radio Nepal quoted the prime minister as saying, “It is said that a new variant of COVID has been detected in Nepal.”

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    The prime minister stressed that an effective vaccine campaign was his governments present priority. This would help save lives.

    He said that though progress was made in the vaccination campaign against COVID-19, many doses are still lying in storage and have not reached the doorsteps of the people.

    He called on government functionaries, particularly the chief district officers, people’s representatives to work together with stakeholders in order to make the campaign effective.

    “I request all to actively engage in the campaign of protecting all the citizens from COVID-19 by administering them with a full dose of vaccine within mid-April, 2022,” Deuba said, according to Radio Nepal.

    Deuba appealed to security forces, health workers, political parties and others to ensure the full dose of vaccine.

    Experts worried

    On 6 December, a government spokesperson had confirmed the presence of Omicron variant of the coronavirus in two people, including a foreigner, in the country. But soon, the government went silent on the subject.

    Nepal’s health experts are worried. “The scene will be clear in the next two weeks, which is crucial for us,” today’s edition of The Kathmandu Post quoted infectious disease expert Prabhat Adhikari as saying.

    The previous peak in neighbouring India due to the Delta variant in March 2021 took around a month to spread in the landlocked country.

    Adhikari told the newspaper that “It will not take one month for the new variant to spread here is there is an outbreak in India, as the doubling time of the virus is only two to three days. Case doubling time for the Delta variant of the virus was six days.”

    The prime minister’s speaking about the “new variant of COVID” being detected in the Himalayan country could well put the spanner in the work of health experts like Adhikari.

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