Hepatitis :: Sudden spate of hepatitis hits Nepal cabinet ministers

Several of Nepal’s cabinet ministers, including Deputy Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli, have fallen ill with hepatitis after reportedly consuming contaminated food and water at Prime inister G P Koirala’s residence and Parliament canteen.

The National Public Health Laboratory yesterday started collecting blood and water samples from the Prime Minister’s official residence here, as health officials feel the ministers and officials picked up the disease from there during high-level meetings.

The government will probe the sudden spate of jaundice which have affected at least five ministers, officials said.

Blood and water samples from some 15 lower level officials working in the PM office have been collected for investigation.

Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Amik Serchan told reporters a committee will be formed to probe the causes behind the ministers’ deteriorating health conditions.

Jaundice is usually caused by the consumption of contaminated water and food.

Land Reform Minister Prabhu Narayan Chaudhari, Tourism Minister Pradip Gyawali, Transport Minister Ramesh Lekhak and Commerce Minister Hridayesh Tripathi are suffering from jaundice at present.

The ministers had taken lunch and dinner at the Parliament canteen last month during lengthy consultations on the interim Constitution that was promulgated on January 15.

Koirala’s personal assistant Balkrishna Dahal and his bodyguard are also down with jaundice. His sister-in-law and Nepali Congress leader Nona Koirala, who passed away few days ago, was also suffering from the disease.

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