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Gowda skips quarantine after flight to Bengaluru, says he has immunity

As the controversy began to blow up with Congress questioning violation, Karnataka's department of health and family welfare modified its standard operating procedures for quarantine of inter-state passengers, granting exemption from quarantine to ministers and government officers on duty.

Gowda said he had exemption from quarantine as his Pharma Ministry was part of essential services.

Union minister DV Sadananda Gowda who flew to Bengaluru from Delhi on Monday didn’t undergo the institutional quarantine mandatory for all fliers from 6 hotspot states, claiming he had immunity granted by his ministership.

Gowda, the Union minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers, and former Chief Minister of Karnataka, said he had exemption from quarantine as his Pharma Ministry was part of essential services.

Under Karnataka’s quarantine rules for arrivals by domestic flights from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi, all passengers are required to be in institutional quarantine for seven days followed by seven days of home quarantine if they are asymptomatic for the virus.

As the controversy began to blow up with Congress questioning violation, Karnataka’s department of health and family welfare modified its standard operating procedures for quarantine of inter-state passengers, granting exemption from quarantine to ministers and government officers on duty.

The minister—away from Bengaluru since lockdown began — left for his home soon after arrival at the airport and was scheduled to attend meetings with elected representatives and ministers on Covid-19 situation through the day.

“I did not want to burden the exchequer by using a private aircraft or a chartered flight and so I came by a regular flight today. There is an exemption from quarantine that is available to me as minister for the pharma sector,” the minister told reporters.

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