Jharkhand CM, ministers, legislators in self-isolation after Cabinet minister tests positive for COVID-19

The CM and a number of his ministers, party men and officials had attended a home warming ceremony conducted by the minister Mithilesh Thakur, following which he tested postive

Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@airnewsalerts)
Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@airnewsalerts)

VP Sharan

The working of the Jharkhand Government has almost come to a grinding halt after a host of legislators, ministers and the Chief Minister himself have gone into self-isolation subsequent to a Cabinet minister, Mithilesh Thakur, a Jharkhand Mukti Morcha MLA, testing positive for COVID -19. Consequently, the party headquarters of both JMM and Congress have been closed and the entry of party men has been banned. The Chief Minister’s Office too has been closed and its officials including the Principal Secretary to CM preferred to keep to themselves in self-isolation.

The situation warranted such measures after the Chief Minister and a number of his party men and officials and even some ministers attended a home warming ceremony conducted by Mithilesh Thakur in Doranda area of the city. When the minister himself tested positive for COVID-19, presumably after the ceremony was over, all those who attended the lunch party at the Minister’s residence had to quarantine themselves at their respective houses.

The Chief Minister, Hemant Soren tweeted about the incident to inform the public saying, “My Cabinet colleague Mithilesh Thakur and our party legislator Mathura Prasad Mahto have been tested positive for COVID 19. Both of them are undergoing treatment at government hospitals and for the next few days, I will remain in self-isolation but will continue to discharge my duties”.

The CM, however, advised the people of the state to take steps to stay fit, keeping themselves away from crowded places and mandatorily take measures like wearing masks while going out of their houses. Reiterating the advise of the CM, the state Public Relations Department (PRD) also issued a statement saying that he has urged officials and employees of his office to remain in home quarantine. The PRD advisory also stated that entry to the CM’s residence on the Kanke Road has been prohibited.

But the viral infection does not seem to be confined to power corridors only. It has spread to the places where policemen, government officials, journalists, bankers and frontline warriors are stationed. A policeman on duty at RIMS Hospital in the city posted for the security of the imprisoned former Chief Minister of Bihar, Lalu Prasad Yadav, too has been found positive. It seems to have spread to almost every nook and corner of the state, making it well nigh impossible to assess exactly who are infected in these groups.

As a precautionary measure, the Ranchi Press Club too has been put under lock and key and entry of visitors has been barred.

As per the recoded number of COVID-19 cases, the state has witnessed an enormous increase .The figure on Wednesday stood at 78 new cases, taking the total tally to 3,314. Out of these cases, 942 are active and 2170 recovered. A total of 22 people have died from the pandemic in the state so far. Some districts such as Dhanbad and Koderma in Chhotanagpur region and Sahibganj in Santhal Pargana have witnessed double digit increase in cases.

Meanwhile, the head of the Microbiology Department of RIMS hospital, Dr Manoj Kumar apprehended that the total number of viral infections in the state could scale up to 9,000. He said that the sudden increase in the number could be attributed to recent return of migrant workers from other states in large numbers.

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