Uttarakhand Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaj tested positive for COVID-19

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and three cabinet colleagues were in self-quarantine on Monday following a meeting last week with Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaj, who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Satpal Maharaj, his wife and 21 other people — family members, staff and his followers staying in the same household — have tested positive, an official said on Sunday.

On Friday, Satpal Maharaj had attended a meeting of the State Cabinet.

The State health department said there was no need for the ministers and officials who attended Friday’s meeting to isolate themselves, going by the Centre’s guidelines.

“The ministers and officials fall into the category of low risk contacts as they were not in close contact with Satpal Maharaj. They can function in a normal way and there is no need to quarantine them,” State Health Secretary Amit Negi said.

But the CM and the three other ministers — Harak Singh Rawat, Madan Kaushik and Subodh Uniyal — decided to remain in self- quarantine as a precautionary measure, an official at the Chief Minister’s Office said.

“They will remain in self- quarantine at least for the next few days during which they will be tested for COVID-19,” he said.

“Whether or not they resume normal day-to-day functions in a few days will depend on what their test reports say,” he said.

Satpal Maharaj’s wife Amrita Rawat tested positive for the infection on Saturday.

Their two sons, daughters-in-law and a one-and-a-half-year-old grandson were among the others found infected with the virus on Sunday.

Amrita Rawat, a former State Minister, was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Rishikesh on Sunday morning.

The minister and some other members of the family too are kept there, an AIIMS official told PTI.

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