26 Nepali lawmakers test positive for COVID-19 ahead of key vote on PM

KATHMANDU - As many as 26 members of the House of Representatives in Nepal have tested positive for coronavirus, just as they are preparing to vote on Monday on a motion of confidence called by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.

The secretariat of the federal parliament conducted the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for lawmakers ahead of the key vote, with tests returned positive for 18 of them, while eight others were already infected from the second wave of the pandemic that is raging in Nepal, said Gopal Nath Yogi, secretary at the House of Representatives.

"We have reports that 26 members of the House of Representatives have tested positive for coronavirus," Yogi told Xinhua. "Two of them are ministers."

There are four ministers in the Oli cabinet who have tested positive, but two are not members of parliament.