For most people, Kanika Kapoor was an obscure name. For people of a certain vintage, they might think of her as the woman who gave us earworms like Baby Doll and Chittiyan Kalaiyan, but henceforth she will forever be known as the woman who potentially spread novel coronavirus COVID-19 to the high and mighty in India including the First Citizen.
We saw similar case in South Korea, which handling its epidemic very well was knocked by a super spreader who came to be known as Patient 31.
Before she was diagnosed, she attended two sessions of churches, travelled to crowded spots and created a cluster of 5000 people.
Now Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor appears to have a created a similar deluge of cases in India mingling with the high and mighty.
A timeline of her travels show that she reached Mumbai in March 9 stayed there the next day, reached Lucknow on March 11, attended a private party on March 13, attended another private party on March 14 and a party hosted by Ahmed Akbar Dumpy in Lucknow on March 15.
She showed symptoms on March 18 and was admitted on March 20. Incidentally, one doesn’t need to show symptoms to be admitted. According to her father, she came in contact with at least 400 people.
In the March 15 party, hosted by Adil Ahmad, nephew of Akbar Ahmed ‘Dumpy’, several luminaries were present including former Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje and UP Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh, MP Dushyant Singh.
Now Dushyant Singh is an MP who not only attended parliament but also attended a breakfast organised by the President of India for legislators from Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. He tweeted the picture of the event.
A list of leaders who have potentially been affected by Kanika Kapoor: Dushyant Singh and Vasundhara Raje
Raje tweeted that she and Dushyant were going into self-isolation.
"While in Lucknow, I attended a dinner with my son Dushyant and his in-laws. Kanika, who has unfortunately tested positive for COVID-19 was also a guest. As a matter of abundant caution, my son and I have immediately self-quarantined and we're taking all necessary precautions," she said in a tweet.
Dushyant was present at the party. After that, he also went to Parliament.
Jai Pratap Singh
UP health minister Jai Pratap Singh, who attended the party, said that the party was actually a "family affair".
"I do not recognise Kanika Kapoor though some guests told me that there was a Bollywood singer. I interacted with people in Lucknow who are known to me," he said on the phone.
He said that he himself had informed the medical officials about his presence at the party.
Jitin Prasada - former Union Minister
Jitin Prasada has quarantined himself at his ancestral house in Shahjahanpur, sources close to him say and the former minister's aide say that this is a lapse from the government that they allowed the singer to go without check and without mandatory self quarantine in the country.
The singer stayed at Shalimar Gallante in Mahanagar in Lucknow and now another person from the same building has been found positive, said sources.
The total number of guests in the party were over 100.
Medical officials are now unsure how to quarantine the entire building where the singer stayed and also subject the guests at the party to tests.
Two days ago, Singh met President Ram Nath Kovind along with his other colleagues. President Kovind hosted members of Parliament from Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan for breakfast at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Among the present were former Union minister Rajyavardhan Rathore, BJP MP from Mathura Hema Malini, Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, Congress' Kumari Selja, eminent sportsperson and MP Mary Kom among others.
After the news of Singh going into self-quarantine broke, the President took to twitter to quote an article: "The coronavirus outbreak has forced us to keep a respectful distance from others. This isolation, self-imposed or medically mandated, can be taken as an ideal opportunity to ponder our journey so far and the future path."
TMC MP Derek O'Brien self-quarantined himself after BJP MP Dushyant Singh, who sat beside him in Parliament, revealed that he he attended a party by singer Kanika Kapoor, who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Union Ministry starts Contact Tracing
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare hinted on Friday that contact tracing of Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor had been initiated, after she tested positive for novel coronavirus."Contact tracing is our immediate identified protocol. It begins as soon as we get to know of a (coronavirus positive) case.
All actions under our containment begin too," said Joint Secretary Health Lav Agarwal at a press conference held by the Health Ministry here.Agarwal pointed out: "If even a single case was missed, we will be back to the situation we were in two months ago. Therefore, it is very important that we break the chain of transmission.
"The officer said India has so far reported 206 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus and four casualties. "State governments have inherent powers to take action against people who bypass the system laid down to stop infectious diseases," said Agarwal.
Meanwhile, Indian Council of Medical Research Chief Epidemiologist RR Gangakhedkar said that people should refrain from taking the names of patients and instead respect the privacy of individuals.
"Today, there is one such case; tomorrow, there may be more (high-profile cases). We need to respect the privacy of individuals," said Gangakhedkar.
Singer Kanika Kapoor of 'Baby Doll' fame on Friday said that she had tested positive for novel coronavirus. She had returned from London to Lucknow a few days ago.
With inputs from agencies