August 10, 2020 2:30:41 am
Principal Secretary to Governor of Punjab J M Balamurugan and four others employed at the Punjab Raj Bhawan tested positive for Covid-19 and have been quarantined.
Punjab Governor and UT Administrator V P Singh Badnore has tested negative for the disease, officials said.
Punjab Raj Bhawan spokesperson said, a two-day Covid testing exercise with rapid antigen test was carried out at Raj Bhawan, in which a total of 336 persons, including security personnel, officers and staff members, were tested for the novel coronavirus.
Besides Balamurugan, four others employed at the Raj Bhawan were found to be asymptomatic positive for Covid-19.
“Precautions including sanitisation of the entire Raj Bhawan and safeguarding the official premises have been taken as per the health advisories, protocol and doctors’ advice,” a statement issued by the administration stated.
The Raj Bhawan employees were tested for the disease in a two-day drive, using the rapid antigen test kits.
The Governor’s Principal Secretary, who tested positive, had also been attending the war room meetings with the Chandigarh Aministration officials, thus, the officers were also tested for the disease.
The officials said, among others, UT Adviser to Administrator Manoj Parida tested negative for the disease.
The war room meetings chaired by the Administrator is held on alternate days. The meeting is attended by all senior officers of the UT Administration, while the others attend it through video conferencing.
As the Covid-19 cases emerged, the UT officers who attend the meeting physically raised concerns and emphasised that the meeting should not be held physically but only through video conferencing, especially as the coronavirus cases are surging.
“As the novel coronavirus cases came up, Punjab Raj Bhawan is being sanitised. Some areas where the officials worked are especially being thoroughly sanitised,” a senior official of the Chandigarh Administration said.
The rapid antigen testing drive will be carried out at other places in the city as well.
PGIMER Director Dr Jagat Ram said, PGIMER is also procuring rapid antigen test kits that they will be using at the institute. The kits provide results within 30 minutes, the doctor said.
The Chandigarh Health department had recently procured 5,500 rapid antigen test kits.
Medical experts have been directed to send dedicated vehicles to collect samples on the spot and undertake rapid antigen tests at places where Covid-19 cases are being reported frequently.
Chandigarh recorded its highest single-day spike of 89 cases on Sunday.
The city’s tally of cases crossed the 1,500-mark, as the total count reached 1,515. There are 585 active cases in the city at present, including several frontline healthcare workers of the city’s Covid facilities.
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