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Nepal's Culture Minister Yogesh Bhattarai tests Covid-19 positive

Nepal's Culture Minister Yogesh Bhattarai

Kathmandu, Oct 11 (UITV/IANS)- Yogesh Bhattarai, Nepal's Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, announced that he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, becoming the first cabinet minister to contract the disease.

In a social media post, Bhattarai said his swab was tested on Saturday morning, reports Xinhua news agency.

After developing a fever on Friday evening, he got himself tested again on Saturday morning and found to be infected.

"Till now, no other health complication has appeared except marginal fever," he wrote.

Bhattarai later confirmed to Xinhua on his infection in a telephone conversation. "I have been staying in home isolation after testing positive for the coronavirus," he added.

Earlier, the Minister has tested negative for the virus on October 5, following which he participated in some events outside the capital Kathmandu.

Bhattarai's diagnosis comes at least five of Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli's aides contracted the virus.

Some of the aides have reported negative results of new tests after days of home isolation.

Press advisor Surya Thapa told Xinhua on Saturday that he was given all-clear by the latest test.

The aides' infections have raised concern about the potential risks for Oli.

Bhattarai said they have maintained adequate social distance with the Prime Minister and followed other health protocols during the cabinet meetings.

So far, Nepal has recorded a total of 105,684 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 614 deaths.