Other States

Bihar extends lockdown till July 31

Workers clean a COVID-19 treatment ward in Patna. File

Workers clean a COVID-19 treatment ward in Patna. File   | Photo Credit: Ranjeet Kumar

As many as 24 people associated with the Bihar BJP were on Tuesday found infected with COVID-19, and with the hike in positive cases, the government announced a complete lockdown till July 31.

“Samples of 110 party leaders, workers, security men and cleaning staff at the party headquarters had gone for test and 24 of them were found infected on Tuesday”, party leader and spokesperson Nikhil Kumar said. “Out of the 24, five are party leaders and officials, who have been advised to be on home quarantine”.

The buzz in the party headquarters was that on July 8, a leader celebrated his marriage anniversary, distributing sweets to leaders, officials and staff. Next day, he was found infected with COVID-19.

Tejashwi’s poser

Opposition leader in the Assembly Tejashwi Yadav took a dig on the ruling alliance comprising the BJP, saying “even after a large number of BJP leaders and staff are infected with COVID-19, the ruling NDA wants to hold Assembly polls on time…I would like to ask the BJP to identify their leaders who are spreading COVID-19 among the masses”.

BJP leader and party MLC Sanjay Mayukh retorted, “there should not be any politics over BJP leaders and officials found COVID-19 positive... it was on instructions from our State party president, all leaders, officials and staff at the party headquarters took the test and 24 of them found were found infected. They have been asked to be on home quarantine”.

The BJP headquarters, where all senior party leaders were recently present for the party’s virtual rally and other e-interactions with party workers for the coming Assembly elections, was sanitised on Tuesday and its main gate was locked. The premises wore a deserted look.

And with the surging COVID-19 positive cases, the government on Tuesday announced the imposition of a complete lockdown, except essential services. Over 15 districts, including Patna, are currently under lockdown for different periods.

“There is an alarming surge in COVID-19 positive cases in the last three weeks wherein positivity rate has also been considerably high…and whereas the government has examined the matter in detail and is convinced that the requirement for a lockdown is inevitable and urgent to contain the further spread of COVID-19… the containment measures will remain in force for a period of 16-days from July 16-31”, said a home department release, detailing the guidelines for the lockdown.

Senior BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar said the “lockdown would remain in force at all municipal, district, sub-divisional and block headquarters”.

On Tuesday, a total of 1,432 new cases were reported, with the maximum number of 162 in Patna. A health department bulletin said that so far, a total of 18,853 positive cases were reported in the State, with 13,019 recoveries and death of 143 people. A Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) doctor and an advocate of Bhojpur lost their lives on Tuesday while, the principal home secretary’s sample test was found positive. He has been advised to be on home quarantine.

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Printable version | Aug 13, 2020 10:18:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/bihar-extends-lockdown-till-july-31/article32076941.ece

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