Did taking part in four public events in a week prove risky for CM Yediyurappa?

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa at a function celebrating one year in power in the State at the Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru on Monday.   | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

How did Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa contract COVID-19, is a question that officials from the health department are presently grappling with. Given that the chief minister, who had desisted from any public events since March suddenly seemed to return to normalcy and attended four public events in the last week, contact tracing may be an impossible task, a senior official said. “He mostly contracted the infection from one of these public events,” the official said.

“In hindsight, the public engagements of the chief minister over the past one week were definitely ill advised. But given we had unlocked the economy, he was keen to be seen in public to give out a message of confidence to the people to resume work taking all precautions,” said one of his close associates.

Ever since he imposed a lockdown on the State in mid-March, the chief minister had limited his public interactions to holding review meetings and meeting the press at his home office ‘Krishna’. He first ventured out on an inspection on July 10 to the upcoming COVID Care Centre at Bangalore International Exhibition Centre and immediately went into home quarantine the next day, as three of his staffers had tested positive. He resumed work after four days when he tested negative.


“Given his exposure and vulnerability, the chief minister is being tested every Sunday and he had tested negative last Sunday and tested positive on August 2, clearly narrowing the window of when he contracted the infection,” a source close to his family said.

The intervening week saw an unusually ‘outgoing’ chief minister who exposed himself at four public events, even as the number of COVID-19 cases reported from Bengaluru city peaked. Chief Minister’s participation at these events signalled a slow return to normalcy, which seems to have backfired now.

He performed bhoomi pooja for a life sciences park, inaugurated metro tunnelling work and a Keonics building, apart from presiding over a function to mark one year of his government, all in a matter of four days. All these programmes were attended by a large swathe of people, raising red flags and a cause for concern. He also met Governor Vajubhai Vala on a courtesy call and felicitated Scientist Dr. K. Kasturirangan on Friday for the successful adoption of the National Education Programme by the union governmen. Given their age, they will now go into home quarantine and also be tested for COVID-19, sources in the government said.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 6:58:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/did-taking-part-in-four-public-events-in-a-week-prove-risky-for-cm-yediyurappa/article32258443.ece

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