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Two top ICMR officials in self-quarantine after senior scientist tests positive for COVID-19

The two are also senior members of the national task force that has been constituted for formulating country’s policy to tackle the pandemic.

Published: 03rd June 2020 08:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd June 2020 08:12 AM   |  A+A-

A suspected COVID-19 patient wearing a mask stands near an ambulance before being taken to a hospital for quarantine at Kalyanpuri area during the nationwide lockdown in East Delhi

For representational purposes (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Two top officials at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), country’s nodal agency for COVID-19 outbreak management, have gone into quarantine after a senior scientist tested positive for the infection.

Dr Balram Bhargava, director general of the council, and Dr RR Gangakhedkar, chief epidemiologist, had been holding meetings with the scientist among others till last week. The two are also senior members of the national task force that has been constituted for formulating country’s policy to tackle the pandemic.

The infected scientist, who is from the ICMR’s National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health, had visited Delhi a few days ago and was tested after he developed symptoms. He is now hospitalised and said to be in a stable condition.

After the confirmation, the ICMR headquarters had been sanitised and fumigated for two days, but is now open. Many scientists, however, have not turned up to the office yet.

Neither Dr Bhargava nor Dr Gangakhedkar, among many others, who had come into close contact with the infected scientist has not undergone any test so far as the ICMR guidelines say that only symptomatic high-risk contacts should be tested.

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