In fact, all the top leaders from MP who had attended Governor Lalji Tandon’s funeral in Lucknow on July 21 have been infected – Chouhan, Sharma, Bhagat and cabinet minister Arvind Singh Bhadoria, who was the first to be detected with the virus a week ago. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, UP Governor Anandiben Patel and UP CM Yogi Adityath were also at the funeral.

CM Chouhan who was admitted to hospital last Saturday, tweeted on Wednesday evening” “The BJP state president and Khajuraho Lok Sabha MP is unwell. I pray for his quick recovery.”

MP BJP media in-charge Lokendra Parashar confirmed Sharma had tested positive and said he was being admitted to Chirayu Hospital, the same as the CM. “All his close contacts have been instructed to get tested for Covid-19. I have tested negative for the infection and I might repeat the test in a few days on medical advice,” he said. Bhagat is under home quarantine.

A senior bureaucrat in the Chief Minister’s office was also detected with the virus on Wednesday. Minister Manish Sisodia’s staff have been infected as well. MoS Ramkhelawan Patel has also been diagnosed with Covid-19 infection.

Despite Chouhan asking ministers who were in contact with him to quarantine themselves, Silawat had attended party workers meets and even a village choupal in Sanwer on Monday. His wife has tested positive too.

“I ask all those who have come in contact with me to get themselves tested”, Silawat said. That figure may run into hundreds if not in thousands, going by Silawat’s schedule over the past few days. He was health minister in the Kamal Nath cabinet in the early days of Coronavirus spread in the state, “Medical consultation, yoga, pranayam, immunity boosters and self-confidence are treatments for Covid-19. We will surely defeat it”. Silawat tweeted.

Noticing increasing number of BJP leaders being affected by the virus Chie Minister from his hospital bed has issued stern warning to Ministers and other leaders to follow Covid precautions. Using strong language he said “action will be taken irrespective of position or clout” he further said “Everyone, whether he is chief minister, minister, public representative or officer, must follow Covid norms or face action”.

Chouhan asked his ministerial colleagues not to undertake tours till August 14. “Saving lives is more important than winning elections” he said urging them not to hold any public function and warning that case would be registered and they may be fined if they do so.

The CM advised them to carry out their work through video conferencing, virtual rallies and other such methods.

Addressing Coronavirus review meeting from his hospital ward, Chouhan said the ground gained in the fight against Coronavirus during lockdown is lost if people don’t observe precautions.

There won’t be lockdown after the present one, he assured, and urged people to act responsibly for their own protection and to overcome the economic distress induced by Corona virus pandemic.

“The spurt in Morena was promptly controlled and now positivity rate in the district has come down to 3 per cent” he said adding that the situation has improved a great deal in Gwalior too and markets have opened in the city.

Death rate in MP has dropped to 2.7 per cent and 21,659 Coronavirus patients have gone back home after being cured.

Besides Chief Minister’s warning the state government has also formally issued an order warning the general public not to hold any programme till August 14.

Taking note of the fact that Corona is spreading very fast total lockdown was ordered till August 4 in Bhopal. This period covers the festivals of Bakrid and Rakshabandhan. The decision to ban public celebration of these two festivals has caused resentment among the people.

While Chief Minister Chouhan is being treated in a private hospital, Congress while taking objection has said that it is sending a wrong message. The party alleged that it has severely damaged the faith of the people in government hospitals. The party has also alleged that VIPs and ministers are getting free treatment at Chirayu Hospital while the common man has to even pay for his meals in quarantine centre.

“The Madhya Pradesh government is spending crores on anti-corona campaigns but people have lost faith. The chief minister going for treatment at a private hospital had dented the trust that people had in government hospitals” said Congress spokesman Durgesh Shama.

Congress alleged that BJP leaders and workers are not observing social distancing protocols and many ministers are not wearing masks.

“This is the reason why people are also not observing rules and the number of Covid-19 patients is constantly rising” Sharma said.

PCC Chief Kamal Nath’s media convener Narendra Saluja said “If a common man Bhopal is corona positive and goes to Chirayu Hospital he is denied admission because it has become a VIP hospital. One needs recommendation of BJP leaders or top officials to got treatment there”, he added. (IPA Service)