Nepal's former royal couple 'normal and stable' after contracting COVID-19: Hospital

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Kathmandu, Apr 27 (PTI) Nepal's former King Gyanendra Shah and Queen Komal Shah, undergoing treatment for COVID-19, are 'normal and stable' though they are still positive for the disease, days after they returned from India, a senior hospital official said on Tuesday.

The 73-year-old former King and 70-year-old former Queen were diagnosed with the disease on April 20 and were admitted along with their daughter Prerana Shah to the Norvic International Hospital for treatment of COVID-19 on Saturday.

The couple had recently returned from India where they had taken a holy dip at Haridwar’s Har Ki Pauri during the Maha Kumbh -- a religious congregation of Hindu seers and devotees.

'Their condition is normal and stable. They have been put on oxygen support from the day they have been admitted to the hospital,' Somnath Bastola, Corporate Communication and PR head of the hospital, told PTI.

He said that even though the couple is still COVID positive, they do not have fever.

'Due to the COVID risk, the doctor had advised to put the couple on oxygen support as a precautionary measure,' he said.

Bastola said that the couple's daughter Prerana is not on oxygen support as her condition is better.

According to the health ministry, Nepal on Tuesday reported 4,364 new cases, taking the national tally to 307,925 COVID infections. The death toll in the country reached 3,194 as 18 more fatalities were reported.

Shah was crowned as the king of Nepal in 2001 after his elder brother Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev and his family were killed in a massacre at the Royal Palace. An investigation blamed Birendra's son Dipendra, who was among the dead, for the massacre.

Shah stepped down in 2008, after a popular revolt forced him to abdicate, and the centuries-old monarchy was abolished, turning the country into a republic by the Constituent Assembly.

He became deeply unpopular when he seized direct control of the nation in 2005, claiming mainstream parties had failed to tackle the deadly Maoist insurgency. He has kept a low-profile and has occasionally made public appearances.

In normal circumstances, the Maha Kumbh is held for nearly four months. Its last edition was held in Haridwar from January 14 to April 28 in 2010. PTI RS AKJ RS