Additional 24 cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 were detected in Nepal on Friday.

The Ministry of Health confirmed that the cases were discovered in 1,146 Covid-19 positive random samples collected throughout the country during the month of Poush (Dec-Jan).

Health authorities performed Gene sequencing on 24 samples from the 250 S-Gene Negative specimen collected, all of which returned positive for the omicron variant.

The samples collected included those of peacekeepers that had recently returned after completion of their mission in Sudan

Fearing a rapid spike in the volume of patients infected with the Omicron variant, the health ministry has asked all hospitals to prepare for a probable patient influx and to stockpile sufficient medical supplies, especially oxygen. The administration has also asked all health personnel to be prepared.

The administration is reportedly planning to send positive cases detected at the border crossings with neighbouring nations to isolation units.

There has been a surge in the reported number of Omicron variant cases globally. Nepal too, in recent times, has been witnessing a gradual spike in daily Covid cases, many of which have confirmed detection of the fast-spreading Omicron.

The fear of a rapid spread of the variant is rampant keeping in mind the sudden increase in infections in neighbouring India which reported 117,100 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, the highest since early June, as the Omicron variant overtakes instances of Delta detection in the Indian cities.

As such, authorities in Nepal have stepped up preparations to curb the further spread, especially the provinces that share a border with India.

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The government has also asked people to rigorously adhere to health recommendations in order to prevent the spread of Omicron in the country.