In a shocking development, Maharashtra Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad has tested COVID-19 positive, official sources said here early on Friday. Awhad, along with a dozen of his family members had been in home quarantine since past 10 days. The decision was taken as a precaution after one of his security personnel had tested positive. The matter was first highlighted by IANS on April 13.
Earlier, the minister had tested negative, but a subsequent report on Thursday had come positive, alarming the state health authorities.
The senior Nationalist Congress Party was admitted to a hospital on Wednesday for further tests. It's suspected that the Minister may have unknowingly passed on the infection to several persons who are now under treatment.
The minister had come in contact with a policeman in Thane's Mumbra town during the search for persons who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi earlier this month.
Among other contacts if the infected policeman were several other police personnel, mediapersons, officials, including Awhad, sending shockwaves in state circles. While a senior minister confirmed the development to IANS, there's no reaction from the NCP or the government so far. Earlier this month health authorities went into a tizzy after a tea-seller. outside the Bandra residence of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had tested COVID-19 positive.