Nepal reports two Omicron casesOne is a foreign national who arrived on November 19 and the other had come in close contact with him.
Nepal on Monday reported two Omicron cases, first since the new coronavirus variant was detected in South Africa on November 9.
According to the Ministry of Health and Population, a 66-year-old foreign national, who entered the country via Tribhuvan International Airport on November 19, and a 71-year-old man, who came in close contact, have tested positive for the Omicron variant.
The ministry said that both the individuals had shown a negative report of the polymerase chain reaction tests at the airport health desk.
They were fully vaccinated.
However, on November 23, the man and his close contact underwent a coronavirus test after experiencing some symptoms, which showed positive results.
“We have identified two Omicron cases,” Dr Runa Jha, director at the National Public health Laboratory, told the Post. “We performed the whole-genome sequencing tests on swab samples of both suspects and found S-gene target failure, which confirmed infection of the new variant of the virus.”
The laboratory confirmed the Omicron case on Sunday night.
The Health Ministry said that both infected patients are recovering and have been placed in an isolation facility under the supervision of health workers.
The ministry said 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, the ministry said in the statement.
The World Health Organisation designated Omicron as “a variant of concern” on November 26.