Nepal reports first cases of omicron variant

Nepal reports first cases of omicron variant
Adults wait for children receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 in Kathmandu, Nepal, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. Nepalese authorities on Monday reported the first cases of the omicron variant in the Himalayan nation. Credit: AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha, File

Nepalese authorities on Monday reported the first cases of the omicron variant in the Himalayan nation.

A Health Ministry statement said a 66-year-old foreign national who arrived by air on Nov. 19 tested positive for the along with another 71-year-old person who was in contact with the tourist. Both are being kept in isolation under the supervision of a medical team.

Authorities said 66 other people who had contact with the two confirmed cases tested negative.

The had both negative PCR test report and was fully vaccinated on arrival in Nepal.

The government laboratory had confirmed the testing result of an omicron variant only on Sunday.

No other details were given.

Nepal has been encouraging foreign tourists to visit the country to climb and hike its famed mountain peaks in an attempt to revive its adventure tourism industry.

Nepal has reported 918,084 coronavirus cases and 11,541 deaths since the pandemic began last year. Only 28.6% of the population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

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