Uttarakhand minister Satpal Maharaj quarantined after wife tests Covid-19 positive
Uttarakhand tourism minister Satpal Maharaj was quarantined on Saturday after his wife tested positive for coronavirus disease Covid-19, officials said. Forty others were also quarantined along with the minister.
Maharaj’s wife, Amrita Rawat, was tested for the virus on Saturday after she complained of fever for the last few days.
Earlier this week the Dehradun administration had put the minister’s private residence under quarantine following the visit of some people from Delhi during lockdown.
Confirming the development, the minister said, “My wife had a fever for the last three to four days. First, we conducted an immunity test at a private lab for Covid-19 in which she tested negative.
However, when her fever didn’t subside, we got her tested for Covid-19 by taking her swab samples on Saturday in which she tested positive,” he added.
The minister said that his family and everyone else who came in contact with his wife will follow the health department protocol and go into quarantine. He added that his wife will be hospitalised for treatment.
Ashish Srivastava, district magistrate Dehradun said, “After the minister’s wife tested positive, we found a total of 41 people including the minister who had come in contact with her. All of them will be put in quarantine as per norms.”
Srivastava also said that Amrita Rawat had no travel history. “We have made a report on the case and would soon submit it to the government which will decide the future course of action,” the DM said.
On Friday, Maharaj had attended the state Cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat in which other ministers and officials were present.
After Saturday’s development, questions are being raised whether all those in the meeting will also be quarantined, with the Opposition Congress terming it as ‘gross negligence’.
Suryakant Dhasmana, vice president of Congress said, “The development just shows how negligent and irresponsible the government is in this fight against the pandemic. Now the question arises whether the entire government be put under quarantine as they were in the Cabinet meeting on Friday.”
But Cabinet minister and government spokesperson Madan Kaushik said that no other minister from the meeting will be quarantined as of now.
“Minister Maharaj will be tested for the virus and if he tests positive then a decision would be taken on quarantining all the ministers and officials who attended the Cabinet meeting on Friday,” said Kaushik.
On May 27, the Dehradun district administration had put up a quarantine notice on Satpal Maharaj’s private residence after it was found that two of his guests had come during the lockdown.
However, at that time, the minster had said that the guests were staying in one portion of the house while he lived in another portion with both having separate entrances. The portion quarantined is the one where his guests stayed.
Meanwhile, 33 fresh Covid-19 cases were reported in the state on Saturday taking the total tally to 749 . Five people have died of the disease so far.