The Ministry of Health and Population on Tuesday has confirmed the detection of a new mutation in Delta variant of COVID-19 in Nepal.

In a press release issued today, the MoHP stated that that 47 samples collected from various parts of the country and of different age groups through May to mid-July verified detection of delta variant in all of them. The Ministry highlighted that a new mutation --K417N-- was found in three of the 47 samples.

The new mutant delta variant, as per the health authorities, has been identified as A.Y1.

The samples brought to Teku-based National Public Health Laboratory, earlier, were sent to The Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) in New Delhi for genomic identification.

Following genomic sequencing, three samples showed that the infection was caused by K417N mutation also identified as A.Y1.

It is to be noted that the World Health Organization has categorised Alpha, Delta as variants of concern while Kappa has been marked a variant of interest. Variants of concern are considered to be highly contagious.

In the wake of constant rise in reported fresh infections with loosening of nationwide prohibitory orders, the Ministry has already warned about the possible advent of the third wave of the pandemic.