94 health department officials in Madhya Pradesh now infected with virus
The number of health department officials and personnel tested positive for Covid-19 in Madhya Pradesh has gone up to 94, the state government said on Wednesday.
Officials said the 94 have tested positive in Bhopal, which has so far reported 166 cases. As many as 20 each infected in the city belong to the police department and Tablighi Jamaat. Four people have been discharged from hospitals while five have died.
A fourth Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer associated with the state’s health department tested positive for the disease on Tuesday. The state government had last week instituted an inquiry against the officers and expanded testing to arrest the spread of Covid-19 in the state.
The health department reported its first case on April 2 when the managing director in the National Health Mission tested positive. Two days later, another IAS officer contracted the virus. An additional director in the department, who returned from a foreign country, too, tested positive. On Saturday, the principal secretary in the department, who had allegedly not reported to the authorities about her son’s US trip, tested positive.
As per the department’s bulletin on Wednesday, the state has reported 197 new cases since Tuesday as its tally mounted to 938, including 544 in Indore. Indore accounts for about 58% of the total cases in the state.
As many as 26 of the state’s 52 districts are hit by the pandemic.
Additional chief secretary (health) Mohammad Suleman said they were going to increase the number of tests in the coming days in Madhya Pradesh, which has one of the lowest rates of testing in the country.
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has directed the strict implementation of the lockdown to check the spread of the disease in the state. “Police should use barricading, drones, CCTV cameras and other techniques to completely block the movement of people to break the chain of coronavirus.”