Madhya Pradesh Minister Arvind Singh Bhadoria confirmed he has COVID-19 in a video he released earlier today. The minister, who is among the 157 people who tested positive for the coronavirus in Bhopal on Wednesday, has requested everyone who came in contact with him over the past few days to not panic and get themselves tested for the coronavirus.
Mr Bhadoria is among the ministers who attended Wednesday's cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Shivarj Singh Chouhan, in Bhopal. Last week, he had attended a rally in his hometown with close to a thousand supporters.
The 50-year-old told NDTV that he is asymptomatic and only has a mildly sore throat. "I got the tests done and once I got the report, I came to the hospital as a precautionary measure," he said.
He also urged people to follow the COVID-19 guidelines prescribed by the government and to take care of themselves and their loved ones.
Stating that this was a matter of grave concern, Congress leader Jaivardhan Singh said, "The 30-odd ministers who were at the cabinet meeting, including the chief minister, must immediately suspend all their engagements for a few days. If they continue to hold meetings and not follow the procedure, then more and more people will not take (Covid) safety norms seriously. They must take a test immediately and self-isolate; it is their responsibility so the virus does not spread further."
With this, four BJP MLAs and three Congress MLAs, including former ministers, have tested positive for COVID-19 in Madhya Pradesh, which has reported 24,842 cases with 7,263 deaths.
Bhopal reported 157 new cases on Wednesday, biggest single day spike. The state capital has reported close to 4,669 cases so far and 144 deaths.
A 10-day total lockdown has been ordered in the state capital, starting tomorrow evening, because of the spurt in COVID-19 cases in the last 10 days.
Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra had said that during the lockdown in the state capital, only essential services will be available during this time.