The Deputy Secretary of the Madhya Pradesh Directorate of Medical Education has tested positive for COVID-19. He is the fourth bureaucrat from the State to have contracted the disease.
The 2013-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, aged 32, is believed to have come into contact with another IAS officer, the Managing Director of the Madhya Pradesh Public Health Services Corporation Limited and the CEO of the State Ayushman Bharat Yojana, who was the first within the Health Department to have been infected, according to an official of the Bhopal district administration.
On April 3, the Principal Secretary of the State Public Health and Family Welfare Department, the seniormost bureaucrat in the department, was infected. On April 11, an IAS officer on special duty with the Madhya Pradesh unit of the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme also tested positive for the illness.
As positive cases went up to 614 and deaths to 50 in the State on Monday, the Health Department is battling a deepening crisis of the infection’s spread within its own ranks. It is grappling to find its source as none of those infected in the first lot has a travel or a contact history. Satpura Bhavan, which houses the Directorate of Health Services, has emerged as a major hotspot in the city.
Of 144 cases in Bhopal, close to 80, including doctors, Deputy Directors and Additional Directors, come from the Health Department alone.