Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has tested negative for Covid-19 after he voluntarily gave his swab sample for test on Saturday.
The chief minister’s swab sample was taken after he came in contact with a senior BJP member of the Bihar legislative council who tested positive for coronavirus disease earlier in the day.
“Swab samples of all 16 people from the chief minister’s residence have tested negative for Covid-19,” said a senior functionary of the health department who requested anonymity.
The samples, which tested negative, also included those of four bureaucrats, attached to the chief minister.
However, a deputy superintendent of police rank officer in chief minister Nitish Kumar’s security was believed to have tested positive, said sources.
CM’s public relations officer, BK Shukla, who, earlier in the evening, had confirmed that Kumar gave his sample for swab test, did not respond to phone calls.
Kumar had given his nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal samples for reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, a confirmatory test for Covid-19. A team of microbiology and ENT departments of the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences had gone to collect the samples from 1, Aney Marg, which is the designated residence of the CM.
The chief minister had met the senior BJP functionary at least twice during the last 10 days, the last being on July 1 during the swearing-in ceremony of nine MLCs at the Bihar Legislative Council.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar, deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, Bihar assembly speaker Vijay Kumar Chaudhary and a few ministers were among some of the top state leaders who were with the infected BJP leader during the swearing-in ceremony.
Laboratory test result was awaited of deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who, too, had given his sample for Covid test.
Samples of at least 70 people, including political leaders, officers, security personnel and personal staff had been collected after contact tracing of the BJP functionary who tested positive, said sources.
The BJP leader, his wife, son and a personal assistant were among five people who had tested positive and were admitted to the AIIMS-Patna Saturday evening, said hospital sources. The BJP leader had cough and was running high fever for the past couple of days.
“The senior BJP functionary and his wife have been admitted to the Covid isolation ward of our institute,” said AIIMS superintendent Dr CM Singh.