Amid a marked resurgence of Covid-19 infections in Maharashtra over the past few weeks, a number of the state's political leaders and ministers, including the health in-charge, Rajesh Tope, have declared that they have tested positive for the disease. Others include Jayant Patil, Raksha Khadse, Eknath Khadse, Bacchu Kadu, and Rajendra Shingne.
On Wednesday, the state reported 4,787 new cases - the highest one-day count in over two months. A few districts in its Vidarbha region, too, have registered a steady rise in the number of cases in recent weeks. Civic authorities in Mumbai today clamped down with fresh safety measures as the numbers kept rising, logging over 5,000 cases on Thursday.
Minister of state Omprakash Babarao Kadu, or Bacchu Kadu, tweeted today that he had tested positive for Covid-19 a second time. The 50-year-old Prahar Janshakti leader an MLA from Achalpur asked those who have been on contact with him recently to be cautious and get tested.
In a tweet posted late last night, Mr Tope, the Minister for Public Health said, "I have tested positive for Covid-19. My health condition is fine. I appeal to those who have come into contact with me recently to get tested at the earliest." A member of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the 52-year-old represents Ambad Ghansawangi.
Similarly, his party colleague, fellow cabinet minister, and Leader of its legislative arm, Jayant R Patil, posted a message yesterday declaring his Covid-19-positive status. The 59-year-old is the Water Resources Minister of the state and a seven-term MLA from Islampur.
I have tested COVID positive.— Jayant Patil (@Jayant_R_Patil) February 18, 2021
Whilst I am doing fine, I am taking appropriate medical advice and hope to recover soon. I shall be undertaking my duties via video-conference.
I request those who have come in contact with me recently to be observant and self-isolate.????
Another senior NCP leader, Eknath Khadse, tweeted in Marathi yesterday saying, "I have tested positive for corona. My health is fine...I request those who have come in contact with me to test themselves." The 68-year-old former minister recently shifted loyalties from the BJP to the Sharad Pawar-led party.
His daughter-in-law, Raksha Khadse, remains a BJP MP from Raver, and has also tested positive for Covid-19. In a tweet posted yesterday in Marathi, the 33-year-old said that she got herself tested according to doctors' recommendation after she took ill suddenly overnight.
"I have tested positive. I request anyone who has been in contact with me over the past eight days to get tested," she tweeted.
On Wednesday, state Food and Drug Administration Minister Rajendra Shingne, 60, had tweeted declaring his Covid-19 positive status.
Please note that it would not be possible for me to be present at NCP Office, Mumbai tomorrow for the 'Janata Darbar' which is scheduled for every Thursday as I have tested positive for #COVID19. Citizens kindly take a note of the same.— Dr.Rajendra Shingne (@DrShingnespeaks) February 17, 2021