November 28, Kathmandu: The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced a “variant of concern” for high-risk infections from omikron, prompting various countries to ban travelers from the South African region and increase surveillance.

A spokesman for the health ministry, Krishna Poudel, told that a decision had been made to make a one-week quarantine mandatory for air travelers arriving and departing from South Africa, even though there were no direct flights to the region.

“We monitor passengers from the South African region to the airport for mandatory, testing and quarantine. If positive, we also do the sequencing of samples,” Poudel said.

Although Nepal has made one-week quarantine mandatory for non-vaccinated passengers, it has not made hotel quarantine mandatory for fully vaccinated passengers.

The Omicron variant, first identified in South Africa, has so far been found in countries including Hong Kong, Belgium, and Israel.

Spokesperson Poudel said that Nepal, which has direct flights to Hong Kong, will decide whether to postpone the flight or not at a meeting of the Covid Crisis Management Coordinating Committee.

Nepal airlines