Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor’s announcement on Friday that she had tested positive for COVID-19 triggered a scare among several top politicians who had attended a series of events with her in Lucknow recently as well as those who were in contact with them.
Many have since announced that they were going into quarantine.
Following Ms. Kapoor’s revelation on Instagram, BJP leader Vasundhara Raje stated that she, along with her son and MP Dushyant Singh had attended a dinner where Ms. Kapoor was present, and as a matter of “abundant self-caution” were immediately adopting self-quarantine.
Mr. Singh was among many MPs who attended a breakfast meeting hosted by President Ram Nath Kovind on March 18 as well as a parliamentary panel meeting on transport, tourism and culture, attended by around 20 MPs later in the day. According to sources, after attending the party in Lucknow along with Ms. Kapoor, Mr. Singh attended two more events.
While Rashtrapati Bhavan is yet to issue any statement, it is learnt that Mr. Kovind would follow all protocols prescribed. The Uttar Pradesh government has not revealed the names of politicians, bureaucrats and socialites who allegedly attended the event.
With Ms. Kapoor’s announcement, Lucknow recorded four new positive cases on Friday, taking the total cases in the capital to 8 and 23 in the State.
U.P. Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh, who was among those at the dinner party, also went into self-isolation, sources said., though he was yet to officially announce it. Apna Dal president and MP Anupriya Patel said she was present with MP Dushyant Singh on Thursday and would take to self-quarantine.
Ms. Raje tweeted: “While in Lucknow, I attended a dinner with my son Dushyant & his in-laws. Kanika, who has unfortunately tested positive for #Covid19 was also a guest."
Ms. Kapoor had travelled from London to Mumbai on March 10 before coming to Lucknow as there were no direct flights. She said she had observed signs of flu for the past four days and after testing, found herself positive for COVID-19.
“My family and I are in complete quarantine now and following medical advice on how to move forward. Contact mapping of people I have been in touch with is underway as well,” she said.
"I am feeling ok, like a normal flu and a mild fever, however we need to be sensible citizens at this time and think of all around us," she said.
The Taj Hotel in Lucknow, where Ms. Kapoor stayed earlier this week, was asked by the administration to shut down temporarily. The hotel said Ms Kapoor had stayed at the hotel but did not host a function or gathering at the premises.
The room occupied by her has been quarantined and disinfected. The staff who interacted with her have withdrawn into self-quarantine, the hotel said in a statement on Twitter. There have been no further symptoms or incidents reported, it added.
Sixty-eight contacts of the four new cases were identified in Lucknow, the U.P. Directorate of Health Services said. Of the 23 positive cases so far, eight have been declared recovered and discharged, said the government.
Asked if contact tracing is being done in Kanika Kapoor’s case where the singer tested positive, a Health Ministry official in New Delhi said the protocol is being followed.
An FIR has been lodged against the singer for negligence. She is booked under sections 188, 269 and 270 of the IPC.
While section 188 pertains to disobedience, section 269 charges her for negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life and section 270 refers to malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life.
The FIR was lodged at the Sarojini Nagar police station on the complaint of the Chief Medical Officer, Lucknow.
Ms. Kapoor was found to be COVID 19 positive at the airport itself on March 14, and was directed to be under home quarantine but she violated the said protocol and attended several social functions, said the CMO in the police complaint.
President Kovind to undergo test, say sources
President Ram Nath Kovind will undergo coronavirus test on March 21, according to Rashtrapati Bhavan sources.
Sources said the President would follow all the directives of the government. The President has postponed all his programmes till further orders, the sources added.