Nepal on Monday confirmed the presence of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in two people, including a foreigner, in the country.
Two individuals -- a 71-year-old Nepali and a 66-year-old foreigner -- have been found to have contracted the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, Health ministry deputy spokesperson Samir Adhikari told a press conference, without revealing their identities.
The foreign national had arrived in Kathmandu from South Africa, where the Omicron variant was first detected, he said.
The Nepali national, who came in close contact with the person, started experiencing similar symptoms on November 23, and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19, the spokesperson said.
According to the ministry, the presence of Omicron variant was confirmed on Sunday night during gene sequencing of the two samples at the National Public Health Laboratory in Teku.
The foreigner had entered Nepal on November 19, MyRepublica news website reported.
The foreign visitor had produced a recent negative PCR report upon arrival, and was fully vaccinated, the Himalayan Times newspaper reported.
As many as 66 samples of people who had come in contact with the two individuals were tested, the results for which came negative, the health ministry said.
Both the infected persons are in isolation and are recovering.
Nepal has so far reported 822,592 coronavirus cases and 11,541 deaths due to the disease.