Maharashtra Energy Minister Nitin Raut and Rural Development Minister Hassan Mushrif tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday, making them the 10th and 11th in the Uddhav Thackeray-led cabinet to contract the infection.
Raut, who is also the guardian minister of Nagpur district, tweeted, ‘‘I have tested positive for Covid-19. I would like to request all those who had come in contact with me the past few days to get themselves tested as a precautionary measure. Stay safe, everyone and take care.’’
The energy minister, who has been strongly making a case for the state government to provide a subsidy of almost Rs 2,000 crore to both public and private electricity distribution companies, could not attend the meeting on Tuesday over this issue convened by the CM Thackeray. He has been camping at Nagpur, where cases have been rapidly increasing.
Mushrif, who had attended the two-day monsoon session on September 7 and 8, had left Mumbai afterwards, to attend a series of meetings and functions at Ahmednagar and Kolhapur. He was feeling feverish and got tested. He tweeted, ‘‘My corona test is positive and those who came in contact with me should get themselves checked. I will resume my work and be in your service after I have recovered.’’
Minister of Environment Aaditya Thackeray and Minister of State for Home Satej Patil have wished both ministers a speedy recovery.
Last week, Minister of State for Higher and Technical Education Prajakt Tanpure tested positive and was unable to attend the legislative session. He is recovering from the virus infection.
On September 3, Dairy Development Minister Sunil Kedar tested positive, while the following day, Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Speaker Nana Patole too followed suit.
Last month, Minister of Cooperation Balasaheb Patil tested positive on August 14 and has now recovered, as have ministers Jitendra Awhad, Ashok Chavan, Dhananjay Munde, Mumbai District Guardian Minister and Minister of Ports Aslam Shaikh, minister of state for revenue Abdul Sattar and minister of state for environment Sanjay Bansode.
Minister for Soil and Water Conservation Shankarrao Gadhakh-Patil had opted for home quarantine after his wife was found positive.