Updated: April 17, 2021 8:36:36 am
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa who showed signs of illness two days ago while campaigning for the bypolls to be held in one Lok Sabha and two Assembly constituencies tested positive on Friday for Covid-19 in a rare case of re-infection. He has been admitted to a private hospital in Bengaluru.
“Upon having mild fever, today I got tested for Covid-19 and my report has come out positive. Although I am doing fine, I am being hospitalised based on the advice of doctors,” Yediyurappa announced on social media.
Upon having mild fever, today I got tested for Covid-19 and my report has come out positive. Although I am doing fine, I am being hospitalised based on the advise of doctors. I request all those who have come in my contact recently to be observant and exercise self-quarantine.
— B.S. Yediyurappa (@BSYBJP) April 16, 2021
Yediyurappa had earlier tested positive for Covid-19 in September 2020, during the peak of the first wave of infections. Asymptomatic at the time, he had quarantined himself for a week. He was recently administered his first dose of the Covid vaccine and was scheduled to take his second dose next week.
Yediyurappa, 78, has been leading the BJP campaign for the April 17 bypolls to the Belagavi Lok Sabha seat and the Maski and Basavakalyan Assembly seats in north Karnataka. Before he flew to Belagavi for campaigning on April 14, a Covid test had been done on the CM as he was reportedly not feeling well, and he had tested negative.
On April 15 though, Yediyurappa had to cut short his roadshow for the BJP candidate. He had blamed fatigue and the extreme heat for feeling ill. On Friday morning, the CM held a meeting with officials in Bengaluru to assess the Covid 19 situation, and later addressed a briefing on what measures the government was planning.
A few hours later, came Yediyurappa’s announcement that he had tested positive, after visiting Ramaiah Memorial Hospital where a chest CT scan was done to assess the condition of his lungs.
The president of the hospital, Dr K C Gurudev, said, “Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had come to our hospital for generalised weakness. We admitted him for evaluation and all investigations were done. We have done a scan of his shoulder as he was complaining of pain in his shoulder. We have seen his chest CT scan which is also normal. His family has decided to take him to the Manipal Hospital for further observation.” Gurudev said the CM was “exhausted from the election campaign” but fine. “He came in walking to the hospital.”
The bypolls in Karnataka are being held amidst a Covid surge, especially in Bengaluru. The BJP candidate for the Maski seat, Prathapgouda Patil, had tested positive for Covid-19 last week.
The bypoll to the Maski seat was necessitated due to the defection of Patil from the Congress to the BJP in July 2019, as part of the group of 17 from the Congress and JD(S) who had crossed over, enabling Yediyurappa to come to power.
One of the BJP’s main managers for the electioneering in Maski is Yediyurappa’s son B Y Vijayendra, whose political profile is growing after delivering victories for the party in several recent bypolls.
Even the second Assembly seat that votes on Saturday, Basavakalyan, is important for the CM as it is the spiritual centre of the dominant Lingayat community to which he belongs. The bypoll is being held incidentally due to the death of its sitting Congress MLA B Narayan Rao from Covid-19 last year.
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