Jharkhand minister tests positive for Covid-19, pandemic reaches corridors of power
The minister, who was inducted as the member in chief minister Hemant Soren’s cabinet from Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) quota, has been moved to a Covid-19 ward of Ranchi’s Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS).Updated: Jul 08, 2020 12:48 IST
The spread of Covid-19 has now entered the corridors of power in Jharkhand after a cabinet minister was found infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus on Tuesday late night.
The minister, who was inducted as the member in chief minister Hemant Soren’s cabinet from Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) quota, has been moved to a Covid-19 ward of Ranchi’s Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS). Another JMM lawmaker also tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday evening and is undergoing treatment in Dhanbad.
With the discovery of two cases in lawmakers, the threat of pandemic looms large in the minds of many others including MLAs and senior state government officials who came in contact with these two lawmakers. Of late, the duo had, reportedly, also met chief minister Soren.
“Samples of the minister and his wife were tested on Truenat machine at Ranchi’s Sadar Hospital. While he was found infected with the respiratory disease, his wife tested negative,” said Ranchi civil surgeon Dr VB Prasad.
He added, “We have initiated contact-tracing exercise to identify people who came in his contact. We are also tracing out the source of infection for the minister.”
Sources said four days ago, the infected minister had thrown a house-warming party after he moved to his official residence in Ranchi. His close friends, relatives and others attended the function.
The minister developed some health issues indicating symptoms of coronavirus infection on Monday morning. He and his wife gave samples for testing and the confirmatory report came on Tuesday late night. However, his wife tested negative for Covid-19, a minister’s close associate informed.
In the last 24 hours, Jharkhand has reported 179 new cases of coronavirus taking the state tally to 3,056. As many as 2,104 patients have recovered and discharged so far. Jharkhand has currently 930 active cases and 22 deaths.