Journalist who tested positive for COVID-19 booked for negligence

“Despite knowing his daughter was infected, the man went around Bhopal,” say police

Published - March 28, 2020 12:14 pm IST - Bhopal

Police cops keeping vigil at Board Office Square during curfew in Bhopal on Tuesday, 24 Mar 2020

Police cops keeping vigil at Board Office Square during curfew in Bhopal on Tuesday, 24 Mar 2020

The Bhopal police have registered a case against a journalist who attended former Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s press conference and later tested positive for COVID-19 , for negligence and violating prohibitory orders.

“Despite knowing his daughter was infected, the man went around the city and violated the lockdown too,” said V.K. Singh, in-charge, Shymala Hills police station.

The case had been registered based on a complaint filed by the Chief Medical Officer, Bhopal, he added, under Sections 269 [Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life], 270 [Malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life] and 188 [Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant] of the Indian Penal Code.

The journalist, whose daughter is Bhopal’s patient zero who tested positive on March 22, attended the conference on March 20, in which Mr. Nath announced his resignation, in the presence of more than 200 journalists, Cabinet Ministers and Congress MLAs.

Later, the journalist went to Raj Bhavan, where Mr. Nath submitted his resignation to Governor Lalji Tandon, and visited the Vidhan Sabha, where BJP MLAs had reached to attend the session scheduled for 2 p.m., which was postponed in the light of Mr. Nath’s resignation. That night, he reportedly took part in a TV debate.

As he tested positive on March 25, jitters spread across journalists, government officials and former Ministers, who immediately went into home quarantine. P. Narahari, Secretary, Public Relations Department, directed journalists who were present at the press conference to immediately self-quarantine. The Vidhan Sabha Principal Secretary A.P. Singh also went into quarantine.

On Saturday, Sachin Yadav, who was Agriculture Minister in Mr. Nath’s Cabinet, announced on Twitter that he had gone into self-quarantine as he was present at the conference.

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