Bihar’s Legislative Council Chairman Awadhesh Narayan Singh and four of his family members and staffers tested positive for Covid on Saturday, sending shudders through political circles in the state, with at least 50 VVIPs, including Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi sending their samples for testing.
Nitish has tested negative while one of the staffers in his office tested positive for Covid, official sources said.
Singh’s report caused alarm as more than 100 VVIPs, including CM Nitish Kumar, Deputy CM Modi, Bihar Assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Choudhary and Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Prasad had recently met the Council Chairman — during a human rights commission meet and at the swearing-in ceremony of the nine newly-elected MLCs on July 1.
Health department sources said at least 50 VVIPs have given their samples for testing and the number is likely to go up as Singh met several people recently.
Eight politicians, including six BJP leaders, a Congress legislator and a senior RJD leader and former Union minister, have tested positive in Bihar so far.
“The situation is very scary. People have scant respect for preventive norms despite sustained awareness. The only saving grace is a very good recovery rate. But co-morbidity is surely a big concern,” said a minister who has given his sample for testing.
Another BJP leader said many are eagerly waiting for contract-tracing details. “We are only praying Awadhesh Narayan Singh’s case does not turn out to be a political super-spreader.”
Bihar has 10,810 Covid cases, of which 7,930 people have been discharged and 88 have died. In the last 24 hours, 546 new cases have been reported.
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