Kathmandu: Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba went into isolation on Saturday after he was found to be in the close contacts of ruling coalition leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal who tested COVID-19 positive on Friday.

Deuba, 75, will undergo his coronavirus test on Sunday, Under Secretary at Prime Minister’s Secretariat Janak Raj Bhatta told mediapersons here. ‘Prachanda’ and Deuba were in close proximity during a high-level coalition meeting held at the Prime Minister’s official residence at Baluwatar on Thursday.

Before going into isolation, Deuba had an hour-long meeting with Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) Chairman and Opposition Leader KP Sharma Oli in Balkot on Saturday morning.

‘Prachanda’, 67, tested positive in the polymerase chain reaction test on Friday evening, after complaining of some breathing-related discomfort, his Personal Secretary Ganga Dahal told mediapersons.

The two-time prime minister is isolating and taking rest at his residence in Kathmandu; his condition is stable. All of his appointments have been suspended. Prachanda’s Personal Secretary Ramesh Malla also tested positive for COVID-19.

Apart from ‘Prachanda’, another senior Nepal Communist Party leader Narayankaji Shrestha tested positive for the virus on Friday. Shrestha will isolate for 14 days.

A fresh wave of COVID-19 cases has put the government on alert, even though more than one-third of the population is fully vaccinated.

Nepal on Saturday reported 944 COVID-19 cases – a large figure for a country of just over 29 million people. The Himalayan nation has reported 27 Omicron cases so far.

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