DV Sadananda Gowda arrives from Delhi, skips quarantine

DV Sadananda Gowda arrives from Delhi, skips quarantine, says he’s exempted

Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers DV Sadananda Gowda. Credit: PTI Photo

Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers DV Sadananda Gowda, who flew into Bengaluru from the ‘high-risk’ Delhi, was not subjected to the mandatory institutional quarantine on Monday. Both Gowda and the state government claimed he was exempted under the guidelines. 

Gowda said he was exempted from undergoing institutional quarantine as he was the minister in-charge of pharmaceuticals and that the pharma sector came under the ‘essential services’ category. 

The minister landed at the Kempegowda International Airport, got into his car and headed out. He later held a meeting with Deputy Chief Minister CN Ashwath Narayan and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar at Vikas Soudha. 

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Karnataka has made a 7-day institutional quarantine mandatory for all passengers travelling via domestic flights from Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, which are seen as ‘high-risk’ states.  

"I head the pharma ministry and we're the backbone for providing medicines to all states. I can’t be equated with other persons,” Gowda, a former chief minister, told reporters. “I am exempted under the SOPs issued by the Centre or the state; pharma is included in that. Besides, I got myself examined in AIIMS and I was screened at the airport also. My Aarogya Setu app shows green, which means it’s safe,” he said.

“If doctors and nurses aren’t allowed to come to hospitals, can we contain the corona? If supply of medicines isn’t done, what will docs do? Won’t it be the government’s failure? I’m heading the pharmaceuticals ministry and I should see that in each and every corner of the country, there should be sufficient supply of medicines,” he said.

 

 

Gowda said he was in Delhi for 63 days. “I could have come to Bengaluru on a chartered flight. Despite being a minister and exempted, I came only when flights resumed. I was checked for my temperature and my Aarogya Setu app also shows green, which means it’s safe,” he said.

Primary & Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar, Karnataka’s COVID-19 spokesperson, also defended Gowda. “(Gowda) is exempted in his capacity as a minister handling the pharma sector,” Kumar said, adding that the relevant order had been issued by the Centre. 

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