Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar sends sample after he sat next to leader who tested COVID-19 positive

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his secretaries have given their swab samples for COVID-19 testing after they attended an event where a BJP leader who was found infected with the highly contagious coronavirus was also present, sitting next to the Chief Minister.
Nitish Kumar was one of the top leaders in the oath ceremony of the new members of the Bihar Legislative Council on July 1.
The Council’s Chairperson Awadhesh Narayan Singh sent his swab sample for testing on Friday and it returned positive on Saturday.
In visuals of the event, Nitish Kumar is seen taking a seat on a podium along with three other leaders including Awadhesh Narayan Singh flanking him. All of them are in white scarves covering much of their faces, following safety guidelines that recommend wearing masks since the coronavirus is known to spread from person to person via respiratory droplets.
Other leaders who attended the event include Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, Bihar assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Choudhary; Ministers Shravan Kumar, Mangal Pandey and Vinod Narayan Jha, BJP whip in Bihar Legislative Council Reena Yadav and MLAs Abdul Bari Siddiqui and Bhola Yadav, among others.
The Assembly Speaker and his secretariat staff have also given their swab samples for testing.
The Health Ministry has said those who are over 60 years are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus. Those with underlying non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and cardiac disease are also at high risk.
Bihar reported six deaths due to coronavirus today, taking the total deaths to 84. With 197 new positive cases in the last 24 hours, the total in the state has risen to 11,111, according to the Health Department.
The novel coronavirus that was first detected in China’s Wuhan in December last year, which eventually sparked a pandemic, is still being studied by scientists to find out its characteristics. A novel virus is one that has never been identified in humans before, so scientists have to tread carefully while studying the virus.
India is working fast to develop a vaccine by mid-August. The Indian Council of Medical Research or ICMR said the process to fast-track vaccine development is “in accordance with globally accepted norms.”
“Faced with the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, all other vaccine candidates across the globe have been similarly fast-tracked,” the ICMR said in a statement.