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Haryana chief minister tests positive for Covid-19

Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Vidhan Sabha speaker Gian Chand Gupta tested positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on Monday, less than two days before the beginning of assembly’s monsoon session on August 26 at 2pm.

Two BJP legislators were also among those found infected on Monday.

Reports of both Khattar and Gupta came out positive within a span of about seven hours. The CM announced his Covid-positive status on his Twitter handle in the evening, while the assembly speaker test report was made public earlier in the day.

Until Monday evening, the health status of at least three BJP MLAs, excluding CM and speaker, was Covid-19 positive.

Ratia MLA Lakshman Napa and Ram Kumar Kashyap (Indri) tested positive on Monday, while BJP’s Ambala City legislator Aseem Goel was found infected on August 21. Goel is in home quarantine.

Informing about his Covid-19 positive status, Khattar wrote on his Twitter handle: “I was tested for Novel Corona Virus today. My test report has returned positive. I appeal to all colleagues and associates who came in my contact over last week to get themselves tested. I request my close contacts to move into strict quarantine.”

Last Thursday, Khattar had gone into home isolation after Union water resources minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and certain officials posted at the CM’s residence in Chandigarh tested positive. Khattar had met Shekhawat in Delhi to hammer out a solution to resolve the SYL canal logjam.

The Vidhan Sabha premises will be out of bounds to all, including the lawmakers until they have a Covid-19 negative report that is not older than three days.

On Monday, three employees — sweeper, cook and a room attendant — posted at Haryana MLAs’ hostel in Chandigarh were also found Covid-19 positive.

Six Vidhan Sabha employees, including speaker Gupta’s political aide, had on Sunday were found infected.

BJP MLA Mahipal Dhanda (Panipat Rural), who had tested positive earlier this month, recovered last week, while Subhash Sudha (Thanesar MLA) had contracted the infection a month back and recovered.

More than 350 employees of the Vidhan Sabha were tested for the infection on August 22 in view of the monsoon session of the assembly.

DEPUTY SPEAKER TO PRESIDE OVER SESSION

Deputy speaker Ranbir Gangwa will preside over the assembly proceedings in Gupta’s absence.

According to Vidhan Sabha secretary RK Nandal, Gupta informed him on telephone on Monday that he had been declared Covid-19 positive.

“Therefore, under Article 180 (2) of the Constitution of India, in the absence of speaker of the assembly, deputy speaker of the assembly shall act as speaker,” Nandal said in an order.

The communication says in the present situation, all files/works pertaining to ensuing session from August 26 onwards will be put up for approval of the deputy speaker.

The session’s duration is likely to be curtailed in view the CM and speaker testing positive.

10 more deaths take Haryana toll to 613

Covid-19 claimed 10 more lives in Haryana on Monday, while 1,074 fresh cases of the infection were recorded in the state in the past 24 hours.

According to the state health bulletin, in Faridabad, Panchkula and Kurukshetra districts, two patients each succumbed to the infection, while one person each lost the battle with Covid-19 in Ambala, Rohtak, Panipat and Fatehabad districts.

With 10 more fatalities, the state’s death toll mounted to 613 and the cumulative number of Covid-19 positive cases reached 55,460.

The active cases also rose to 9,442 even as the total number of patients who have recovered from the disease so far stood at 45,405.

The doubling rate was 32 days on Monday and the recovery rate slipped to 81.87%.

Faridabad yet again recorded the highest 125 cases, followed by Panipat which logged 118 new cases.

Gurugram saw 77 cases, Sonepat 46, Rewari 87, Ambala 80, Rohtak 72, Karnal 69, Panchkula and Hisar 61 each, Palwal 17, Mahendergarh 47, Jhajjar 19, Bhiwani 26, Kurukshetra 45, Nuh 7, Sirsa 36, Yamunanagar 18, Fatehabad 34, Kaithal 21, and Jind 8.

On Monday, there were 221 critically ill patients undergoing treatment across different hospitals of the state.

Kurukshetra Covid victims had comorbidities

The two persons, who succumbed to the infection in Kurukshetra on Monday, included a 38-year-old woman from Murtazapur village, who was also suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure and a 56-year-old woman from Ismailabad town, who also had diabetes and high blood pressure. Kurukshetra chief medical officer Sukhbir Singh said the number of infected persons has reached 1,338 in the district. He said there are 513 active cases currently while 799 patients have been cured.

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