Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Wednesday went into self-isolation a day after he met a Congress legislator who tested positive for the coronavirus, PTI reported. Imran Khedawala had met Rupani, his deputy Nitin Patel and state minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja along with at least two other MLAs from his party to discuss the situation related to Covid-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.
Rupani has decided to run the administration without meeting anyone for a week via video conference and tele calling, Gujarat Chief Minister’s Office said.
“The chief minister is fit and his health is fine,” Chief Minister’s Office Secretary Ashwani Kumar said, according to ANI. “Medical experts Dr Atul Patel and Dr RK Patel tested him today [Wednesday] and have confirmed that chief minister has no symptoms for now,” he added. “But as per safety measures, no outsider is allowed at his residence.”
Meanwhile, Khedawala who is receiving treatment, has reportedly had fever for several days, and had provided samples for Covid-19 testing. However, since he was not in quarantine, it is unclear how many people came in contact with him. Khedawala’s constituency is one of the identified hotspots in the city. It has been under a curfew since Wednesday morning due to a high number of Covid-19 cases.
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The chief minister’s office blamed Khedawala for not taking the required precautions after sending his samples for Covid-19 testing, reported The Indian Express. “Because there were a number of cases of Corona in [the] walled city, Chief Minister [Vijay] Rupani had called local MLAs of the entire area...,” an official release from Ashwani Kumar, the secretary to the chief minister, said.
Rupani’s office added that the lawmaker’s samples were taken around two days ago after he exhibited symptoms like flu and fever. “He should have avoided meeting others till the reports came,” the release said. “By not doing so, he committed a mistake.”
The statement also noted that Khedawala was sitting 15 to 20 feet away from the chief minister, and said that experts’ advice will be sought on Wednesday morning.
Visuals from the meeting with Rupani reportedly showed that social distancing rules were followed. Those attending the meeting sat at least a metre apart from each other. The meeting was also attended by the state ministers for health and home, according to NDTV.
Last week, Khedawala was among the leaders from Ahmedabad who conducted an awareness campaign for coronavirus, and asked people to support the local administration and medical teams, The Hindu reported. The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday morning confirmed 650 coronavirus cases in the state, and noted 28 deaths.