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Hemant may have to be tested for Covid again

2 test positive at CM home and office, contact tracing on
Health workers collect a swab sample from chief minister Hemant Soren at his residence in Ranchi on July 11, the first time he was tested

Our Correspondent   |   Ranchi   |   Published 01.08.20, 06:50 PM

Chief minister Hemant Soren may have to be tested again for Covid-19 if contact tracing of two coronavirus positive patients in the chief minister's office and residence lead to Hemant, health officials said on Saturday.  

“A dedicated team is working on contact tracing. If there is a requirement, then we may retest the CM for Covid,” said state health secretary Nitin Madan Kulkarni. 

The driver of Hemant's spouse, Kalpana Soren, and a personal secretary ranked official from the chief minister's office tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday, triggering fear of transmission among staff in the CM's residence and office.

Hemant and 23 others from his residence, including family members and staff, were tested for Covid-19 on July 11 after two MLAs were found infected with the coronavirus. However, the test results came negative. Now, with more people associated with Hemant's office and residence testing positive, the CM could again come under Covid scanner depending on the contact tracing of the patients, health officials said. 

Several politicians in Jharkhand have come under Covid scanner in the past one month and many of them were found infected. State drinking water and sanitation minister Mithilesh Thakur and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha's (JMM) Tundi legislator Mathura Mahto were found Covid-positive last month. Besides, Ranchi MLA C.P. Singh, former urban development minister of Jharkhand, is also undergoing treatment for Covid infection. 

Health workers also collected swab samples of incarcerated RJD chief Lalu Prasad after two of his attendants at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) tested positive in July. Lalu, however, tested negative. 

Besides the political fraternity, the police department in Jharkhand is struggling to check the spread of virus among cops. More than 200 policemen were found infected so far in Jharkhand and one of them, a 50-year-old sub-inspector from Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP), died.

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