Journalist Who Attended Nath's Meet One of 6 New COVID-19 Cases in MP; Ex-CM, Chouhan on Alert

Bhopal: A journalist from Bhopal was among the six new COVID-19 patients reported in Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday, triggering panic among the media fraternity as he was present at a press conference of former chief minister Kamal Nath here on March 20.

Bhopal's Chief Medical and Health Officer Sudhir Dehariya said those who came in contact with the journalist should remain in home isolation for 14 days, and approach the coronavirus control room if they develop symptoms of cough, cold or fever in the next few days.

Sources said Nath is taking precautions in view of the case. The sources later said Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has also been advised by doctors to be on alert and take precautions.

Many journalists, who came in the contact with the affected man directly or indirectly during Nath's press conference, had also gone to the BJP office where Chouhan was present.

The journalist is the father of the 26-year old woman, who earlier tested positive for coronavirus, Dehariya said.

Both the journalist and his daughter are undergoing treatment at the All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here, he said.

The woman, a post-graduate law course student, returned to Bhopal from London last week and lived with her family for two days before testing positive for coronavirus on March 20. Her mother, brother and those working at their home have tested negative, he said.

"Those who came in contact with the person, who has tested positive, are advised to isolate themselves at home for 14 days. In case any of the symptoms like cough, cold and fever surface in six-seven days, such people can contact the coronavirus control room," Dehariya said.

The new COVID-19 case has created panic among media persons here as the journalist attended Kamal Nath's press conference last week.

A senior journalist with a national daily here said, "The former chief minister, Congress MLAs and leaders, government officers and a large number of reporters were present at the press conference. I also met him. All are in panic now. He should not have attended the press conference when he was aware about the international travel history of his daughter."

President of the Journalists Club, Bhopal, Dinesh Gupta said, "This is a very irresponsible behaviour. The Centre has repeatedly issued advisories about precautions pertaining to persons having international travel history and those coming in contact with them. Despite this, the person was present at the huge gathering."

The district administration should have quarantined such persons in advance as they are aware about people coming from other countries, he said.

There are also reports that Nath may be in self quarantine after his personal secretary tested positive for the virus. However, Congress spokesperson Narendra Saluja rejected the reports as baseless.

Besides the journalist from Bhopal, five persons admitted in different hospitals of Indore, including a woman from neighbouring Ujjain district, tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday, taking the total number of confirmed cases in Madhya Pradesh to 15.

Till Tuesday, six positive coronavirus cases were reported from Jabalpur and one each from Bhopal, Gwalior and Shivpuri. Now, the number of positive cases in Bhopal has gone up to two.

(With inputs from PTI)