Uttarakhand CM in self-quarantine after attending meeting with Covid-19 positive minister
Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Sunday went into self-quarantine as a precaution after his Cabinet colleague and state tourism minister Satpal Maharaj tested positive for coronavirus disease Covid-19. The CM, some of his ministers and top bureaucrats had attended a Cabinet meeting on Friday in which Maharaj was also present.
Apart from Maharaj, his two sons, two daughters-in-law and 17 of his staff also tested positive for coronavirus infection on Sunday, a day after the minister’s wife was found positive for the virus.
In a late evening development, the state health secretary Amit Singh Negi said that a decision on putting the other ministers and officials in quarantine would be taken by Dehradun district magistrate on Monday since as per the Centre’s guidelines that distinguish between high-risk and low-risk contacts of a Covid-19 positive patient, the ministers come under low-risk category. Therefore, they can continue to work normally and need not be quarantined as of now.
“All the ministers come under low-risk category as they maintained distance and wore masks during the meeting despite being in the same room. The district magistrate will be taking a final decision on this and decide who will be home quarantined and who can continue working normally. As a precautionary measure, chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has already quarantined himself,” said Negi.
He explained that if some one lives in the same house, travels in the same car, comes in contact with a positive person with less than one metre distance, interacts without a mask with a Covid-19 positive person, then they are considered to be high risk.
In the case of high-risk contact, the person will be home quarantined for 14 days and the test will be done according to the protocol of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Low-risk contacts can do their work as before but their health status will be monitored for 14 days.
Earlier, confirming the test report of Satpal Maharaj, Abhishek Sharma, officer on special duty to the tourism minister said, “Maharaj, his two sons and two daughters-in-law tested positive on Sunday along with 17 of his staff members. A total of 41 people including Maharaj and others who came in contact with his wife, were put in quarantine and tested for the virus infection as per the health norm on Saturday itself. The remaining have tested negative.”
He added that the minister and his four family members had been admitted at AIIMS, Rishikesh, where his wife is already undergoing treatment. “The other infected people have been admitted to a city-based hospital in Dehradun,” Sharma said.
Uttarakhand has reported 907 Covid-19 cases so far including 158 cases which came out on Sunday. Of the total cases, 102 have recovered.