Five close associates and aides of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, including chief adviser Bishnu Rimal, foreign affairs adviser Rajan Bhattarai, press adviser Surya Thapa, chief personal secretary Indra Bhandari and photographer at the prime minister’s private secretariat Rajan Kafle tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday.

Rimal, Bhattarai and Thapa informed about their infection through their social media handles and asked those who had come in contact with them to take necessary precautions.

Meanwhile, PM Oli’s advisor Bhattarai said that there was no need to worry about the PM’s health as all necessary health protocols were followed when they met with Oli.

He added that Oli had been undergoing frequent tests, but expressed unawareness about the report of his latest test.

PM Oli is considered to fall in the vulnerable (high risk) category for contracting COVID-19 as he had undergone a second kidney transplant in March, suffers from diabetes, has been taking immunosuppressants to prevent kidney rejections, and his health remains fragile.

Similarly, around 50 security personnel deployed at the Prime Minister’s residence have also tested positive for the virus.

Meanwhile, Nepali Congress (NC) Central Working Committee members Arjun Narasingh KC, Gagan Kumar Thapa, Kalpana Chaudhary, and Shambhu Lal Shrestha, among more than 60 persons from the party, have also tested positive for the COVID-19.

Taking to the social media on Saturday evening, the former health minister as well as lawmaker Thapa said that he had tested positive for the virus and urged all those who had come to his contact in the past few days to take necessary precautions.