Amid a steep re-rise in coronavirus cases in Maharashtra with a few of its leaders also hit, minister of state for water resources and education Bachhu Kadu was infected by the virus for the second time on Friday. Kadu had earlier tested positive for COVID-19 in September 2020.
“I have tested positive for coronavirus for the second time. I am currently in isolation. Those who came in contact get themselves tested,” he said.
A number of ministers, including health in-charge Rajesh Tope, have been infected in the latest resurgence of the virus in the state that registered 4,787 fresh cases — the highest one-day count in over two months on Wednesday.
Water resources minister and state NCP chief Jayant Patil also tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday. In a post on Twitter, the minister said he is doing fine and taking appropriate medical advice.
Patil, who earlier this month visited parts of the state during the ‘Rashtravadi Parivar Samvad Yatra’ (an initiative to reach out to NCP leaders and workers), asked those who came in contact with him recently to be observant and self-isolate. “I have tested COVID positive. Whilst I am doing fine, I am taking appropriate medical advice and hope to recover soon. I shall be undertaking my duties via video-conference,” he tweeted.
NCP ministers also postponed for two weeks their redressal meets for citizens, popularly known as ‘janta darbars’, in view of the surge in COVID-19 cases. In a statement, the NCP said people can email their problems to [email protected] during this period.
Earlier this month, ministers Anil Deshmukh, Satej Patil and Rajendra Shingne were infected by the coronavirus.
Deshmukh was discharged from a hospital in Nagpur, where he was undergoing treatment, on February 15. Last year, over a dozen state ministers, including Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, had been hit by COVID-19.
Another senior NCP leader, Eknath Khadse, tweeted on Thursday saying, “I have tested positive for corona. My health is fine…I request those who have come in contact with me to test themselves.” The 68-year-old former minister recently shifted loyalties from the BJP to the Sharad Pawar-led party.