Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai tested positive for Covid-19 and is in home isolation as he is asymptomatic, an official said on Wednesday.
“Bommai tested positive for the virus. As it is asymptomatic, he is under home quarantine in the city,” one of his staff told IANS here.
In a tweet in Kannada earlier, Bommai said the infection was confirmed in the COVID test conducted yesterday (Tuesday) for a working boy in his house.
“In this backdrop, I have also been tested and I have been infected. I am isolated at home though no symptoms and am healthy,” said Bommai in Kannada.
Bommai, 60, is the latest among the state ministers to be infected by the coronavirus though all of them have been asymptomatic and most of them have recovered.
Ahead of the monsoon session of the state legislature from September 21, Urban Development Minister Byrathi Basavaraj tested COVID positive and was admitted to a private hospital in the city on Tuesday.
Basavaraj, 56, is the ruling BJP’s legislator from the K.R. Puram Assembly segment in the city’s eastern suburb.
State Animal Husbandry Minister Prabhu Chauhan also tested positive for the coronavirus on September 9 at Bidar in the state’s northern region.
Early this month, state Labour Minister Shivaram Hebbar tested positive on September 5 and has been in home quarantine for treatment at Yellapur in Uttara Kannada district in the state’s northwest coastal region.
Besides state Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, half-a-dozen ministers, including B.R. Sriramulu (Health), C.T. Ravi (Tourism), Shashikala Jolle (Women and Child Development), K.S. Eshwarappa (Rural Development), Anand Singh (Forests & Environment), and S.T. Somashekar (Cooperation) tested for the virus and were discharged after they recovered over the last one month.
Opposition Congress leader Siddaramaiah, his party’s state unit president D.K. Shivakumar and scores of lawmakers of the BJP, Congress, and Janata Dal-Secular were affected by the virus and recovered after treatment since July.
With so many ministers and legislators getting infected, Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Kageri Hegde on September 8 directed all the MLAs to undergo RT-PCR test in their respective constituencies on September 18 before the 8-day monsoon session from September 21 at Vidhana Soudha in the city center.
“Only those who test negative will be allowed to attend the session. The legislators should carry a certificate from a state-run hospital showing they tested negative for the virus when they enter the Assembly,” said Kageri.
The state legislature has made elaborate arrangements for the session in compliance with the standard operating procedure of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the COVID-induced guidelines of the Union Health Ministry to prevent the pandemic spread.
Wearing of a mask, washing hands with sanitizers, and maintaining social distancing will be mandatory for all the legislative members.