Haryana CM, Assembly Speaker test positive for COVID-19

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Assembly Speaker Gian Chand Gupta and two BJP MLAs tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, two days before the Monsoon Session of the Assembly is set to begin here.
Khattar’s test report came positive on Monday, six days after he had attended a meeting with Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, who was later found infected with the virus.
The chief minister was taken to the PGIMER hospital here for a detailed check-up in the evening, an official said, adding that his condition was stable.
“I was tested for novel coronavirus today. My test report has returned positive. I appeal to all colleagues and associates who came in my contact over the last week to get themselves tested. I request my close contacts to move into strict quarantine immediately,” the chief minister tweeted.
Khattar’s earlier test report came negative for COVID-19 on Thursday, two days after he had attended the meeting with Shekhawat over the Sutlej Yamuna Link canal issue in New Delhi.
The chief minister had on Thursday decided to go into home quarantine for three days as a precautionary measure.
Khattar, who is also the Leader of the Assembly, will not be available for the Monsoon Session.
He underwent the test on Monday as mandated by the Speaker for all MLAs and Assembly staffers ahead of the session, beginning August 26.
Speaker Gupta (73) and BJP MLAs Aseem Goel and Ram Kumar also tested positive for COVID-19, Health Minister Anil Vij said.
Six Assembly staffers have also tested positive for the disease, officials said.
Gupta represents the Panchkula seat, while Goel and Kumar are legislators from Ambala City and Indri, respectively.
In the Speaker’s absence, Deputy Speaker Ranbir Gangwa will be presiding over the House proceedings.
Earlier in the day, Gupta tweeted that he got himself tested for COVID-19 on Sunday and his report came positive.
He said he was feeling okay and had isolated himself at his home on the advice of doctors.
The Speaker requested all those who had come in his contact during the past few days to isolate and get themselves examined.
On the health minister’s suggestion last week, the Speaker had made it mandatory for anyone entering the Assembly complex for the Monsoon Session to show a COVID-19 negative certificate.
The seating arrangement in the House will also be changed to ensure social distancing, officials said. Haryana Assembly has a strength of 90 members.
BJP MPs from Hisar and Kurukshetra constituencies Brijendra Singh and Nayab Singh Saini and party legislator from Thanesar Subhash Sudha had tested positive for the novel coronavirus earlier.