After a 45-year-old tea vendor who operated from a locality in the vicinity of the residence of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in Bandra East tested positive for COVID-19, over 170 police and SRPF personnel, some of whom were in the CM’s security detail, were moved from the area as a precautionary measure.
The tea vendor operated close to the residence of Union minister Ramdas Athavale and several security personnel of both Mumbai Police and SRPF, some in the security detail of the chief minister, would visit the stall for tea.
Matoshree has emerged as the administrative seat of Maharashtra over the past few months as Thackeray prefers to conduct the majority of his business from his residence.
“Two workers have also been taken to the hospital for testing. Apart from that, the whole lane has been sealed. Since all the police personnel in the vicinity used to come to his stall for tea the civic body is also tracking them,” an official said.
The patient had reported fever, cough and breathlessness after which he was admitted to HBT hospital. Civic body is also trying to find out from where he got the infection as he does not have travel history.
A team from BMC’s health department reached Kalanagar in the evening and sanitised the whole area.
According to officials, about 170 personnel from police and SRPF have been quarantine in Uttar Bhartiya Sangh building in Bandra East.
The police personnel, who are on duty at Matoshree, reside in a police camp around Matoshree along with SRPF personnel, said Sena sources. “All of these people have been put in Uttar Bhartiya Sangh building. Inquiries are going on and those who came in direct contact with the tea vendor will be tested and will be put in quarantine. Inquiry is being carried out about others and then the decision about their testing and quarantine will be taken,” said a senior leader.
Police officials claimed the vendor’s shop had been shut since March 24 and they are on the lookout for people who could have been in contact with the vendor between March 20-24.
“The shop has been shut since the time the lockdown was announced. So we are currently looking for people who came in close contact with him between March 20 and March 24. We have learnt that everyone would drink tea from him,” said a Mumbai Police officer.
Officials claimed the BMC has started taking swab samples of some of the personnel who were part of Thackeray’s security detail and had come in contact with the tea stall owner. Around 150 personnel are guarding the chief minister and his family during the day time, while around 120 are guarding him in the night hours.
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