3 ministers who met infected scribe under quarantine

3 Karnataka ministers who met coronavirus infected journalist under home quarantine

Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Tourism Minister C T Ravi, who were all interviewed by a Kannada news channel cameraperson who recently tested positive, have tested negative on the 5th day of their test during their 14-day quarantine period. 


Conforming this to DH, BBMP commissioner B H Anil Kumar said, "According to the contact-tracing flow chart of the journalist, he came in contact with four ministers — Basavaraj Bommai, Dr Ashwath Narayan, C T Ravi and Housing Minister V Somanna. But since Minister Somanna was wearing protective gear during his interview, we are not considering him as a primary contact. The other three ministers have tested negative on their 5th day of testing. They have been advised home quarantine for 14 days. We will test them again on the 12th day."

Somanna told DH, "I had worn a mask during the interview. Also, they were at a one-an-a-half metre distance from me and used a stick with the mic. Hence, I have not been advised quarantine." Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said, "I have undergone a swab test and it has came out negative. I’m healthy. However, I am self-quarantined. The cameraman claims he met me on the 21st. Hence, I will undergo six more days of quarantine." 


Meanwhile, the issue of ministers failing to adhere to health officials' advisory has provided the Opposition parties ammunition to corner the government. Karnataka Congress president D K Shivakumar asked why the ministers were not under quarantine. "Isn’t it double standards by those who must set an example to citizens? This is a protocol violation. This government is not serious about fighting Covid-19," he said in a tweet.

Other ministers that the journalist came in touch with, according to the patient flow chart available in the public domain, are Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar and MLC Narayan Swami. However, Anil Kumar said BBMP is yet to check if they are tested for Covid-19 or not. 

Health Commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pandey told DH, "A person advised home quarantine for 14 days has to test negative on the fifth and 12th days. We have advised the ministers home quarantine for 14 days. However, we have to check if it is being followed."

P475, a 34-year-old male journalist visited BBMP containment zones and tested positive on  April 25 after the government decided to test all journalists in the state after scribes in Mumbai tested positive. 

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