Nepal confirms first case of new coronavirus

KATHMANDU (Reuters) - A Nepali student home from China tested positive for the new coronavirus, an official in Kathmandu said on Friday, making it the first confirmed case in the Himalayan nation.

“One patient tested positive for coronavirus. He is a Nepali student studying in China,” Mahendra Shrestha, a Health Ministry spokesperson, told Reuters.

The student had come home on holiday from Wuhan in China, a ministry of health statement said. He is being kept under surveillance and those in close contact with him were being investigated.

The airport in Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus, was closed on Jan. 23.

The ministry said it was seeking health information from all passengers traveling from China into Nepal.

China has stepped up measures to contain the virus, which has killed 25 people and infected more than 800, with public transport suspensions in 10 cities, temples shutting, and the rapid construction of a new hospital to treat those infected.

Reporting by Gopal Sharma in Kathmandu; editing by Philippa Fletcher