Former King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah and Queen Komal Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah have positive results after attending Kumbh Mela.
The former king and queen of Nepal tested positive for COVID-19 when they returned from a religious festival in India attended by millions of Hindu pilgrims.
Former Gyanendra King Bir Bikram Shah, 73, and Queen Komal Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah, 70, returned to Kathmandu on Sunday after a week-long visit to India to celebrate Kumbh Mela or the pitching festival.
Shah’s press secretary, Phani Raj Pathak, confirmed the couple tested positive for coronavirus.
“They are isolating themselves at Nirmal Niwas,” he said in a statement Tuesday night, referring to their whereabouts.
Kumbh Mela, held in the Haridwar city of Uttarakhand state in northern India, attracts a large number of Hindus who take part in the ritual of soaking in the Ganges.
The growing pressure caused the festival to have drawn up to 25 million people since January, when India struggled to curb the raging coronavirus outbreak.
Medical experts have warned it could turn into The “super viral” event as pilgrims, who have mostly ignored official advice to maintain social distancing, return to their towns and villages across India and abroad.
A Hindu prophet who attended the festival died of coronavirus and hundreds of attendees tested positive, forcing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ask religious leaders to hold the festival in spirit.
Shah, the last king of Nepal, took the throne in 2001 after his brother Birendra Bir Bikram Shah and his family were killed in a mass murder that wiped out much of the royal family.
He resigned in June 2008 after parliament voted to abolish Nepal’s 240-year-old Hindu monarchy, turning the country into a secular republic.