Nepal detects first two cases of Omicron variant - health ministry

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People wait in a queue, without maintaining social distance, to get a dose of Chinese Sinopharm vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Kathmandu, Nepal, July 13, 2021. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar

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KATHMANDU, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Nepal has detected its first two cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, the health ministry said on Monday.

A 66-year-old foreigner, who had entered Nepal from a country with confirmed Omicron variant on Nov. 19, and another 71-year-old person who was in close contact with him tested positive for Omicron on Sunday, the ministry said in a statement. It did not identify their nationalities.

"Both of them are in isolation and getting healthcare under the supervision of health workers," the statement said.

Sixty-six other people who had contacts with them were traced and all tested negative, it added.

Nepal recently banned travellers from eight African countries and Hong Kong over fears about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

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Reporting by Chandini Monappa and Gopal Sharma, Editing by Gareth Jones and Ed Osmond

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