Coronavirus | As cases peak, Bihar Health Secretary is transferred

No reason has been cited for the abrupt top-level reshuffle

May 20, 2020 05:36 pm | Updated June 09, 2020 05:24 pm IST - Patna

Bihar IAS officer Sanjay Kumar. Photo:

Bihar IAS officer Sanjay Kumar. Photo:

As the COVID-19 pandemic peaks in Bihar, the State government on Wednesday transferred Principal Health Secretary Sanjay Kumar with immediate effect. Mr. Kumar has been transferred to the State Tourism Department in the same capacity.


Sanjay Kumar, a 1990 batch IAS officer, was considered a tough taskmaster and was said to be close to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. However, his sudden transfer has fuelled speculations about the power corridor of the State. His regular updates on COVID-19 pandemic details on Twitter handle were the prime source of information for many in the State. He had over 84 thousand followers on his social media handle


Sources told The Hindu that Mr. Kumar had been transferred under pressure from a BJP Minister in Nitish Kumar’sthe State Cabinet.

Also read: COVID-19: Bihar reports eighth death, 21 more BMP jawans test positive

He had come out unscathed when the State Health Department was in the eye of a storm last year when an outbreak of encephalitis in Muzaffarpur district killed over 200 children in a month.


Mr. Kumar was replaced with a 1993 batch IAS officer, Uday Singh Kumawat, who was serving as the Secretary of the State Tourism Department.


Mr. Kumawat has also been given additional charges of Bihar Public Administration and the rural development organisation in Patna till further orders.


The outgoing health secretary Sanjay Kumar would now be holding the post of Principal Secretary of the Tourism Department.


Meanwhile, number oftotal COVID-19 positive cases in Bihar have gone up to 1,607 with 571 recoveries. A total of 53,361 tests have been done so far in the State’s seven laboratories.

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