AAP MLA Atishi has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The 39-year-old, who represents the Kalkaji constituency in south Delhi, complained of a mild fever and cough on Tuesday, after which she was screened for the COVID-19 virus. The report returned today and she is now in home quarantine given her mild symptoms.
She is the third MLA from her party to have tested positive for the coronavirus; the other two are Vishesh Ravi (Karol Bagh) and Rajkumar Anand (Patel Nagar).
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted in support of Atishi today, writing: "Atishi-ji has played an important role in the fight against the coronavirus. I hope that she will be healthy as soon as possible".
AAP leader Saurabh Bharadwaj, who is the MLA from Delhi's Greater Kailash area, also tweeted this afternoon, writing: "Get well soon Atishi and Akshay Marathe (an AAP member who has also tested positive for COVID-19), recover soon from corona".
Atishi had been working with Delhi government's Health Department on containing the widespread coronavirus outbreak in the national capital. Delhi has reported 44,688 cases so far, of which 26,351 are active and 1,837 are deaths linked to the virus.
Earlier this week Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain was admitted to the Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital after a high fever and breathing difficulties. Mr Jain, who is still in hospital, tested negative but underwent a second test today because he continues to face respiratory issues.
Last week the Chief Minister also tested negative for the COVID-19 virus after a fever and throat pain. He had isolated himself at his official residence in the city as a precautionary measure.
There was concern for Mr Kejriwal's because he is also a diabetic; patients with co-morbidities (pre-existing medical conditions) are believed to be at higher risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus.
Delhi has seen a worrying surge in COVID-19 cases, with over 1,000 fresh infections reported daily for the past few days. The total number of cases is inching towards the 45,000-mark, with 1,859 new cases reported in the past 24 hours.
The last 24 hours also witnessed the most number of deaths in a single day - 93.
The Arvind Kejriwal government, scrambling to find hospital beds and medical resources for coronavirus patients has warned that the number of cases could cross 5.5 lakh by July-end, leaving it at least 80,000 beds short of that target.
The Supreme Court has criticised the Delhi government for its handling of the crisis; today it said: "You cannot threaten doctors for bringing out the truth". In an earlier hearing it had described the situation as "horrendous, horrific and pathetic".
The top court's criticism prompted Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan to hold meet with the Delhi government to address the problem.
Among the proposals to help Delhi are to increase number of beds by providing 500 specially-fitted railway coaches and increase the number of daily tests conducted.