4 K’taka Ministers Test COVID Negative Post Contact With Journo
However, Medical Education Minister Dr Sudhakar flouted quarantine norms and held a meeting in Mandya.
Four out of five Karnataka ministers, who reportedly came in contact with a COVID-19 positive video journalist of a Kannada news channel recently, on Wednesday, 30 April, said they have tested negative for the virus.
Deputy Chief Minister Dr CN Ashwath Narayan, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Kannada and Culture Minister CT Ravi and Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar tweeted that their test reports have come out negative and they are under home quarantine. This is because the protocol states that those who come into contact with a COVID-19 positive person have to be in quarantine for 14 days.
However, Medical Education Minister Dr Sudhakar held a meeting in Mandya on Wednesday flouting quarantine norms.
Sudhakar said he went for the test after hearing that the journalist with whom he interacted had tested positive. "However as abundant precaution, I have decided to be in home quarantine for the next seven days and carry out my duties from home," he tweeted. This is despite the protocol stating that people should be quarantined for 14 days.
Reports allege that the other ministers too had flouted the mandated quarantine period and were going about with routine work.
The other ministers who tested negative told the media that they will be quarantined at home. "After being informed that I might have come in contact with a COVID-19 affected person, I have been in home quarantine. I have tested negative, but will continue to be vigilant and take all necessary precautions," Ashwath Narayan said in a tweet.
State Home Minister Bommai said that he has taken a swab test and it has come out negative. "I am under self quarantine and I am healthy."
Culture Minister CT Ravi said, "Even though I had no close interaction with him (camera man) during my meetings, I got myself tested on 28th April. I am happy to share with You that I have tested negative for #CoronaVirus (sic)."
Another minister who came in contact with the video journalist has not responded so far.
Karnataka Congress President DK Shivakumar had questioned the government about ministers reportedly in contact with the video journalist not being quarantined, and termed it as "protocol violation". "A Kannada News channel's cameraman is COVID +ve. His primary contacts include CM, DCM & Ministers. Why aren't they in quarantine? Isn't it double standards by those who must set an example to citizens? This is a protocol violation. This Govt is not serious about fighting COVID (sic)," Shivakumar tweeted.
The journalist, who had visited containment zones demarcated by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (city civic body), was confirmed positive on 24 April.
As per the 34-year-old patient's (video journalist's) flowchart, he had met five ministers on work, between 21 April and 24 April. Though he had also visited Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa's home office "Krishna" multiple times during this period, according to officials, he had not met the CM.
On 23 April, he had given his swab samples along with other journalists for testing, and was confirmed positive the next day.
At least 40 other contacts of the video journalist, including his family and journalists from various media outlets, have been quarantined, officials said.
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