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After PMO officials, Nepal Culture Minister gets Covid-19

After PMO officials, Nepal Culture Minister gets Covid-19

Nepal's Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Yogesh Bhattarai, announced on Facebook that he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Bhattarai becomes the first Nepali cabinet minister to contract the disease. In September, six officials in Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli's office had contracted Covid. Dozens of soldiers guarding the PM residence too were detected with coronavirus around the same time.

Announcing about his infection, Bhattarai added: "Till now, no other health complication has appeared except marginal fever." Bhattarai later confirmed his Covid-19 positive status to <em>Xinhua</em> in a telephone conversation. "I have been staying in home isolation after testing positive for the coronavirus," he added.

The Minister has tested negative for the virus on October 5, following which he participated in some events outside the capital Kathmandu. On Thursday, he participated in a cabinet meeting, raising concerns whether other ministers, including Prime Minister Oli, too may have been exposed.

The aides' infections have raised concern about the potential risks for Oli as he had undergone a kidney transplant in March this year and suffers from other health conditions.

Bhattarai said that the cabinet maintains adequate social distance besides following other health protocols. So far, Nepal has recorded a total of 105,684 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 614 deaths.

<em>(With agency inputs)</em>.