Bihar CM tests Covid-19 positive; state reports 5 deaths

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar tested positive for coronavirus on Monday, his office said in a tweet from its official handle, even as the state reported five deaths and 4,737 new cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, taking the number of active cases up to 20,938, according to a health department bulletin.

“On the advice of doctors, he (Kumar) has isolated himself at his residence” the CMO tweet said.

The CM had tested negative on the rapid antigen detection (RAD) kit on Monday morning, but later tested positive on the real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), a confirmatory test for Covid-19, said sources.

Earlier, deputy chief ministers Tarkeshwar Prasad and Renu Devi had tested positive for the virus. Among the members of the state cabinet to have tested positive are Ashok Choudhary (building construction department), Amarendra Pratap Singh (agriculture), Sunil Kumar (excise and prohibition), Santosh Kumar Suman (SC/ST welfare) Shahnawaz Hussain (industries) and Mukesh Sahni (animal husbandry department).

Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Nityanand Rai are among the union ministers from Bihar to have tested Covid-19 positive.

Kumar had earlier embarked on the Samaj Sudhar Abhiyan, a social reforms campaign, from Motihari in East Champaran district on December 22. He was, however, forced to abort it midway after his tour to Aurangabad on January 4 as Covid-19 cases began to rise in the state.

Of the five Covid-19 deaths in the state during the last 24 hours on Monday, three were reported from AIIMS and one each from the Patna Medical College Hospital (PMCH) and the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS).

Among the three Covid-19 deaths at AIIMS was a six-year-old girl with severe brain disease. The other two casualties at the institute were of a 50-year-old patient who underwent a stomach surgery and was suffering from kidney disorder, besides a 72-year-old cancer patient.

A 21-year-old road traffic accident victim who tested positive for Covid-19 died at the IGIMS.

Bihar had last added close to 5,000 Covid-19 cases in a day during the peak of the second wave of the pandemic in May last year. On Sunday, the state reported 5,022 new Covid-19 cases.

On Sunday, the state also reported 27 new cases of Omicron on the genomic sequencing test at the IGIMS. The total number of cases of Omicron, has a high infectivity rate, has now gone up to 28 in Bihar.

Earlier, on December 30 last year, a 26-year-old resident of Patna’s Kidwaipuri locality was the first in the state to test positive for the Omicron variant of Covid-19. The result, however, did not reflect on the national health portal on Covid-19, as the same was done through ‘S’ gene target failure (SGTF) kit, which is indicative of Omicron, while the genomic sequencing test is a confirmatory test.

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