The new Nepal variant could have been spread by mountain climbers at Mount Everest as it is “plausible” it could be a “transmission site.”
The new Covid variant which has spread to Europe is putting holidays at risk and scientists have warned the government this new mutant strain could be resistant to vaccines.
Public Health England (PHE) have said they are investigating 20 cases of the Nepal variant in the UK, which have also been identified in Japan, India and Portugal.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told Sky News that the decision to remove Portugal was made to protect the UK as the Nepal variant was discovered
Jenrick told Sky News, “Firstly, the amount of positivity has increased significantly, it’s doubled in the last three weeks to a level that’s much higher than we have here in the UK.
“Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, although both countries have prevalence of the Indian variant or Delta variant as it’s called, we’re also seeing in Portugal now growing evidence of a further mutation being called the Nepal variant.
Dr Stuart Ray, a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins, told the Daily Mail, “I would worry about all the crowded tents that people traveled through on the way up there.
“It’s plausible that places like that could be the transmission site.”
However, Dr Ray could not confirm that the Nepal variant does exist, but health experts have agreed that previous Indian variant outbreaks at Everest base camp in May is a concern for the climbing tourism sector.
Dr Ali Mokdad, an epidemiologist with the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation also said, “The virus mutates when people come close together.
“No one climbs unless they are healthy and have good lungs so they’re healthy, strong, will get infected asymptomatically and spread it.”