Lalu tests negative for COVID-19; three of his attendants diagnosed with disease

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Ranchi/Patna, Jul 27 (PTI) Jailed RJD chief Lalu Prasad, currently undergoing treatment at a Ranchi hospital for multiple ailments, has tested negative for COVID-19, a senior doctor at the facility said on Monday.

Three of his attendants, however, have been diagnosed with the disease, he said.

The report of his swab sample test that came late on Sunday showed that Prasad did not contract the infection, Dr Umesh Prasad, who is attending to the ailing RJD supremo at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), told PTI.

His samples, along with those of his attendants, were sent for examination on Saturday as a precautionary measure.

The state-run RIMS is one of the designated COVID-19 hospitals in the Jharkhand capital.

Of the three attendants who tested positive for the viral disease, two have gone for home isolation, and one has been placed under quarantine at the hospital, the doctor said.

'We are observing the situation for now. If necessary, we will send the RJD leader's samples for re-examination after 4-5 days,' he said.

The doctor also said that the private ward allotted to the RJD supremo is routinely sanitised and necessary precautions are taken to maintain hygiene.

The former Bihar chief minister, who is serving jail sentences in several cases of multi-crore fodder scam, has been undergoing treatment at the RIMS for quite some time.

Meanwhile, the RJD president's test reports have brought cheers to his family and partymen.

'The good wishes of the poor for whom he worked all his life will help him retain good health,' party spokesman Mritunjay Tiwari told PTI in Patna.

The 72-year-old RJD supremo, after being convicted by a special CBI court in 2017, was sent to Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi. He was later shifted to the RIMS as his health condition deteriorated.

The Rs 900-crore fodder scam had taken place in the animal husbandry department of united Bihar in the 90s, when Prasad was the chief minister. He has been convicted in fodder scam cases pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of money from government treasuries.

Jharkhand has reported a total of 8,349 COVID-19 cases so far, of which 85 have died. PTI SNS RMS TIR TIR