LUCKNOW: The coronavirus scare has cast its shadow on Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh who has quarantined himself at his home as he had attended a party where Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor was present on March 14.
The celebrity singer had tested positive for novel coronavirus here on Friday.
Taking cognizance of the situation, the Chief Minister's office issued directives to sanitize places in three major cities – Lucknow, Kanpur and Noida – visited either by the celebrity singer or by those who were present in different parties with her after her arrival in Lucknow from London on March 11. The CM even talked to the health minister to get first-hand knowledge.
The singer and UP health minister were among 100 guests at a party thrown by interior designer Adil Ahmad, the nephew of former BSP MP Akbar Ahmad Dumpy, at his residence recently in Lucknow. The party was attended by VVIPs including top bureaucrats and political figures across parties.
While talking to this correspondent, Jai Pratap Singh accepted that he was present in the party, claiming that it was a family event and also that he did not know who Kanika Kapoor was.
"It was a family function that we have attended. I and my wife also attended it though I don’t know Kanika Kapoor. I got to know about her this morning only when she tested positive and I immediately informed my secretary and staff. I am in self-isolation now and shall send my sample for testing," Jai Pratap Singh said.
“I have directed my entire staff to follow the protocol and get themselves tested. Moreover, all those who were present in the parties attended by Kapoor would also be tested for the virus. I am also in the process of identifying the loophole from where she could have crossed the airport without proper screening if at all,” said the minister.
He did not rule out legal action against the celebrity singer for flouting health protocol.
Sharing his personal details, the health minister said he was following the health protocol and had quarantined himself at his residence.
Senior Congress leader and former Union minister, Jitin Prasad, who was present at the party, has also reportedly isolated himself after Kanika tested positive for the virus.
Meanwhile, taking strict steps to control the virus spread, the CM office issued directives to sanitize places in Lucknow, Kanpur and Noida visited by those who had attended the party with her. Kanika herself had visited her maternal uncle in Kanpur.
Moreover, the state government issued directives to cancel all religious and family events including weddings and also the Ram Navmi mela of Ayodhya till April 2. All the malls, multiplexes, cafes, salons, beauty parlours, eateries have been locked down.
Lucknow Chief Medical Officer Dr Narendra Agarwal has issued an appeal to all those who have tested positive to declare their names in the public domain so that anybody who might have come in contact with them can self-isolate and inform the health department helpline.
Health workers will collect samples from the homes of such cases for confirmatory tests. The appeal has been issued because revealing their identity by others including health officers in public would violate their right to privacy. Since most positive cases have not been able to fully recollect who all they met in
the past few days, the self-identification would alert people who were in close contact with them.