Ram Madhav, Dr Jitendra Singh go into self-quarantine after J-K BJP chief tests positive

BJP's vice president Avinash Rai Khanna and several J-K party leaders and activists too had travelled to Bandipora

Srinagar: Several senior leaders of the BJP, including national general secretary Ram Madhav and Union minister of state Dr. Jitendra Singh have gone into self-quarantine or home isolation following the party’s Jammu and Kashmir unit chief Ravinder Raina testing positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.

Raina had accompanied these leaders during a visit to the home of local BJP leader Sheikh Waseem Bari to offer condolences to the bereaved family in Bandipora district on July 12, days after the latter was gunned down by militants along with his father and brother.

Madhav tweeted, “Am quarantining myself for a few days since my colleague and BJP J&K President Ravinder Raina tested +ve for Corona today and I was with him 48 hrs ago in Srinagar. I tested -ve for Corona four times during travel in the last two weeks. Yet taking precautions to ensure the safety of me and others. (sic)” In another tweet, he wished Raina a speedy recovery.

Singh also informed about quarantining himself as a precautionary measure through his Twitter handle. He wrote on the micro-blogging site “Have gone into Self-Quarantine with immediate effect from 4 PM today, after receiving the news about #Corona positive test of J&K BJP President Sh Ravinder Raina who had accompanied us from Srinagar to Bandipora on 12th July (sic)”.

BJP’s vice president Avinash Rai Khanna and several J-K party leaders and activists too had travelled to Bandipore, 66-km north of Srinagar, on July 12 to show solidarity with the family.

Raina announced he had tested positive for COVID-19 in a tweet earlier during the day on Tuesday. He said that he had stayed in the Valley for five days after the murder of Bari, a former district president of the BJP, his father Bashir Ahmed and brother Umar Bari on July 8 night. “Today I had a mild fever. I got myself tested. The test has returned positive for COVID-19. No other symptoms.(sic)”

The party sources said that Raina was immediately shifted to Naryana Hospital at Kakryal in Katra area in Jammu where he has been kept in an isolation ward.

J&K’s COVID-19 toll has reached 195 after eight more people died across the Union Territory during the past 24 hours. The number of positive cases has crossed the 11,000 mark. The authorities, however, said that over six thousand patients have recovered from the disease, so far.

Most parts of Srinagar were brought under virtual lockdown again from Sunday night in view of the rapid surge in the number of COVID-19 deaths with the summer capital reporting the maximum number of 46 followed by Baramulla district with 35.

The authorities said that as many as 88 areas of Srinagar were notified as ‘red zones’ in view of a sharp spike in COVID-19 positive cases reported in the district in the last couple of weeks.

Restrictions on public movement and certain curbs on trade activities were earlier re-imposed in some other districts of the UT including Rajouri and Kupwara as positive cases of the deadly virus are increasing by the day in both Kashmir Valley and Jammu region.

Meanwhile, J-K’s Lieutenant Governor, Girish Chandra Murmu, on Tuesday visited the house of slain BJP leader and after expressing his condolences to the bereaved family handed over the financial assistance of Rs 20 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased.

“He strongly condemned the killings and said that the perpetrators of this dastardly act of violence would be brought to justice. He also said that such a heinous act is an attempt to spread fear, and there can be no justification for such attacks,” an official release said. Madhav had during his visit to Bandipora announced Rs 100,000 as relief to the family from the party.

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