Dushyant Chautala, Haryana Deputy Chief Minister, Tests Positive

Early last month Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who tested positive for the virus in August, recovered after being treated at the Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon

Dushyant Chautala, Haryana Deputy Chief Minister, Tests Positive

Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala has tested positive for COVID-19 (File)

Chandigarh:

Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, which has infected nearly 67 lakh people across the country. In a short video posted on Twitter this afternoon Mr Chautala said he had self-isolated himself but was in good health and asymptomatic.

The JJP (Jannayak Janata Party) chief, whose party rules the state in alliance with the BJP, urged all those who had come in contact with him over the past week to also get themselves tested.

"My COVID-19 report came out positive. I have no Covid-related symptoms, such as fever or breathing difficulties but, because my report is positive, I am self-isolating. I also appeal to all my friends who have met me in the past week to also get tested," Mr Chautala said in his video.

Early last month Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who tested positive for the virus in August, recovered after being treated at the Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon. Speaking to the media after his recovery, Mr Khattar emphasised the need to follow Covid management protocols.

"We all have to act responsibly and follow all the guidelines like wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and hand sanitising to stay safe," the Chief Minister said, adding, "We don't have to be afraid of coronavirus, we have to be vigilant. Being vigilant is essential to defeat this pandemic."

Mr Khattar tested positive just two days before the monsoon session of the state Assembly (which was held over a single day because of the Covid pandemic). Assembly Speaker Gian Chand Gupta and two other MLAs also tested positive, state Home Minister Anil Vij said.

As with protocols in place ahead of parliament's monsoon session (and Assembly sessions in all other states), it had been made mandatory for all MLAs, including the Speaker, Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister and ministers to be tested for COVID-19; only those with negative results were allowed to attend the session.

Over the past few months several union ministers, chief ministers and political leaders have tested positive for the infectious virus, including Home Minister Amit Shah and the chief ministers of Madhya Pradesh (Shivraj Singh Chouhan) and Karnataka (BS Yediyurappa).

Mr Shah, Mr Chouhan and Mr Yediyurappa have all also recovered from the virus.

Haryana has recorded around 1.34 lakh Covid cases so far, of which 1,491 are deaths linked to the virus and around 11,800 are active cases.

This morning India recorded a sharp drop in daily new cases with around 61,000 logged in the preceding 24 hours; a day before that the country saw over 74,000 new cases. The country has around 9.19 lakh active cases and 1.03 lakh deaths have been recorded.