Nepal confirms first cases of Omicron variant

Kathmandu, Dec 6 (EFE).- Nepal confirmed Monday the first cases of people infected with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in the country, after it was first detected in South Africa in early November.

A 66-year-old foreign national, who entered the country through Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport on Nov.19, and another 71-year-old foreigner, who was in close contact with the former in Kathmandu, have tested positive for the Omicron variant, Health Ministry’s Deputy Spokesperson Samir Adhikari said at a press conference.

Both infected people were fully vaccinated. The infected person who entered through Kathmandu airport had produced a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test report on arrival.

“These are the first cases officially confirmed in Nepal,” said Adhikari, but did not confirm the nationality of the two foreigners.

The presence of the Omicron variant in their swab samples was confirmed on Sunday night during gene sequencing at the Nepal Public Health Library in Kathmandu, according to the ministry.

On Nov.23, the two people in question underwent a coronavirus test after experiencing some symptoms, and the reports turned out positive, said Adhikari.

The Health Ministry said that both infected patients are recovering and have been placed in an isolation facility under the supervision of health workers.

It added that contact tracing of 66 people, who came in close contact with the infected people, has been done. PCR tests performed on them showed negative results for the coronavirus.

On Nov.26, the World Health Organization designated Omicron as a variant of concern.

So far, the new variant has been detected in around 50 countries around the world.

On Dec.2, the Nepal government imposed travel restrictions for the people coming or transiting from nine nations and territories, including South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Malawi and Hong Kong. EFE


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