Coronavirus in Bihar: COVID-19 ravages BJP HQ in Patna, 75 leaders test positive
Coronavirus in Bihar: COVID-19 ravages BJP HQ in Patna, 75 leaders test positive
PTI

Following an alarming surge in the COVID-19 positive cases in Bihar, the state government on Tuesday decided to extend total lockdown in the state till July 31.

The decision to enforce lockdown till month end was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by the Chief Secretary Dipak Kumar.

During the lockdown period, all modes of transport and places of religious worship will remain shut and only essential services will be allowed.

The BJP headquarters in Birchandra Patel Road here is worst affected due to coronavirus. A team of Indian medical Council of Research (ICMR) in its report submitted on Tuesday disclosed 75 out of 100 BJP leaders who were examined on Monday have tested positive.

BJP spokesperson Prem Ranjan Patel said that "the ICMR team had collected samples of BJP leaders and staff on Monday and 100 people were examined."

They are senior party leaders who were engaged in the month-long virtual rallies of party workers in different districts. These meetings were chaired by the party General Secretary Bhupinder Yadav on a daily basis, he said.

Those hit by coronavirus include senior-most leaders in the organization - Nagendra Tripathi, general secretary representing RSS, Devesh Kumar, general secretary, Rajesh Verma, vice-president, Radha Molhan Sharma, vice-president, Arwind Ji, Rajiv Jha among others who tested positive. Four staff in the IT department too have been found positive.

BJP office has been closed till July 16 and entrance gates have also been locked. 

A senior vice-president of the party told "we had requested our leaders not to hold virtual meetings as in different districts, leaders who attended these rallies were found coronavirus hit." He claimed that in Munger 11 out of 40 who attended the rally in a Dharmshala and nine in Motihari had tested positive. Even after warning about the virus, the party leaders insisted on these rallies.

Bhupinder Yadav addressed several rallies daily since July 3. Those attending the rallies included the Vistaraks, mayors and deputy mayors, chairman and deputy chairman of municipalities, all office-bearers, MLAs and former MLAs, MPs and former MPs, district presidents and general secretaries. On average, 100 were asked to attend the rallies and listen to Yadav's speech.

BJP wanted to take a lead in the election campaign over JDU, its alliance partner, said a general secretary down with COVID-19. He had been organising these rallies since the first week of the month. Ticket aspirants were specially invited at these rallies where social distancing was not maintained. Senior ministers, including deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi was also one of the speakers at these rallies. Four members of his staff have tested positive.

A BJP MLA Vinay Bihari who tested positive has been admitted to the hospital on Tuesday. Two ministers and 15 legislators are already in hospitals getting treatment of Coronavirus.

The Patna secretariat also is hit by the disease as half a dozen staff in the Chief Secretary office and finance secretary are down with Virus. District Magistrate of Patna K Ravi on Tuesday said 14 members in the collectorate staff are admitted in different hospitals as they are down with COVID-19

Two doctors-N K Singh and Avinmash Kumar and a young lawyer from Ara, Sunil Kumar Singh 50 kms from Patna died today at AIIMS, a COVID-19 dedicated hospital.

The District Magistrate has ordered the closure of markets in Rajendra Nagar, Kankarbagh, and Mithapur with immediate effect following these areas becoming COVID-19 hotspots.

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