The Ministry of Health and Population has confirmed the detection of a new mutation of Delta variant (B.1.617.2), the dominant variant of Covid-19 most active in Nepal.

In a press statement issues Monday, the health ministry said that 48 samples of the people across the country that were collected in the National Public Health Laboratory from May 6 to June 3 were selected for screening. The samples were sent to WHO identified Center for Excellence in Geonomics, The Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) for Sequencing on June 9 with the help and coordination of the World Health Organisation's Nepal office and South East Asian Regional Office of WHO.

During the genomic sequencing of the samples, 47 samples were found to have Delta variant (B.1.617.2) and one Alfa variant (B1.1.7).

Among the delta variant samples, nine of them were found to have K417N mutation which has been named AY.1.

This mutated form of the coronavirus is said to be active in over 10 countries across the globe, including Nepal, so far.

With this, three variants of concerns declared by WHO -- Alfa, Delta and Kappa variants -- are currently active in Nepal.

The new variants are found to be more contagious, and people belonging to all age groups are vulnerable to the same.