Maoist chair Dahal tests positive for Covid-19Three senior leaders Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Haribol Gajurel and Matrika Yadav also have been infected with the virus.
Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal has tested positive for Covid-19.
“A PCR test conducted on the party chair yesterday (Friday) evening showed Corona positive,” Dahal’s secretariat said in a twitter post. “Since he has been in isolation as per the doctor’s advice, all his scheduled programmes have been cancelled.”
Ramesh Malla, chief personnel secretary to Dahal, said though they have tested positive there are no health complications.
“Chairman and I have tested positive for Covid-19,” he told the Post. “He will remain in isolation and stop personal meetings until he recovers,” added Malla who is also in isolation.
Dahal’s secretariat has also urged all who had come in his close contact to maintain caution.
Besides Dahal, three more party senior leaders Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Haribol Gajurel and Matrika Yadav also tested positive for Covid.
“I am fine and my health is normal,” said Shrestha.
“Three people including Shrestha, his driver and security personnel were tested positive on Friday when six of them got tested for the coronavirus,” said Suresh Kaji Shrestha, Narayan Kaji's personal secretary.
Dahal, a former prime minister, tested positive a day after five members including three from the party’s central secretariat and two workers of the canteen were tested positive on Thursday.
The Maoist chair in the last couple of days has met with a number of leaders, including Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba.
Dahal, 67, on Thursday and Friday attended the High Level Political Coordination Committee meetings where Prime Minister Deuba and other leaders from the five-party alliance were also present.
The Maoist leaders have tested days after the party’s general convention. The Maoist party concluded its general convention just last week, which elected Dahal as the chairman.
The party had scheduled a Central Committee meeting on Sunday to elect office bearers—one senior vice-chair, six vice-chairs, one general secretary, two deputy general secretaries, three secretaries and one treasurer.
The meeting, however, had been called off for now.
Nepal has been seeing a steady surge in Covid-19 cases of late, with 24 Omicron infections reported on Friday.
The daily cases on Friday crossed the 500 mark for the first time since October 28.
The country reported 572 Covid-19 cases from PCR tests on Friday.
Public health experts have urged all to follow safety protocols and maintain utmost caution amid the twin threat posed by Delta and Omicron.
Nepal’s active cases stand at 5,741.