Madhya Pradesh Health Minister Narottam Mishra, who also holds the home portfolio, said on Monday that a flight that arrived in Indore from Dubai brought about the spread of Covid-19 in the state.
“Had it not been for the Dubai-Indore flight, corona would not have come to Indore and from there spread to other parts of the state,” the minister said while addressing an event organised at Chirayu Hospital, Bhopal, to mark the recovery of 108 patients who were discharged from the dedicated Covid-19 hospital.
Indore Collector Manish Singh had also previously said that the virus was brought to Indore by air passengers who arrived from Dubai in January and February. He had said that about 5,000 to 6,000 passengers had not been screened properly. Without elaborating, he had suggested that many air passengers took part in the then ongoing protests against the new citizenship law in the state’s largest and most populous city.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had also asserted that the virus had spread to the state much before he took the oath of office on March 23.
The first case in MP was reported from Jabalpur on March 20.
The health minister praised Chirayu Hospital, a private dedicated Covid-19 hospital, saying it was the first facility in the country to discharge 1,000 coronavirus patients.
Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Bhupendra Gupta slammed the minister for making what he called misleading claims about the infection having spread from Indore. He said the minister’s claim was in contradiction to the assertion of the Airport Authority of India, which had said all passengers had been screened properly and that no one was found to be infected. Gupta said the minister should come out with details of the flights and infected passengers.
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