Maharashtra Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad has tested positive for deadly novel coronavirus. The 54-year-old legislator had admitted himself to a private hospital in Thane for a precautionary check-up.
Before that, he was under home quarantined along with 15 members of his family for a week as some of his security staff tested had positive for the novel coronavirus. It is suspected that the MLA came in contact with the virus after meeting a police officer, who later tested positive.
The MLA had tested negative for the virus before April 13.
Long chain of transmission
NCP MLA from Mumbra-Kalwa constituency is part of a long chain of transmission in Mumbai. He is right in the middle of it.
It is suspected that Jitendra Awhad was infected with novel coronavirus after he met a senior police inspector of Mumbra police station earlier in April to discuss the lockdown and law and order situation. The police officer tested positive last week when he was on leave at his native town in Nashik.
The officer had carried out an operation to nab Tablighi Jamaat members in Mumbra and had apprehended 21 foreign nationals including 13 Bangladeshi and 8 Malaysian nationals after the news regarding the Delhi event of broke.
Initial tests of the apprehended Tablighi Jamaat members had come back negative. Thus, it was not clear where did the police officer get the infection but it is suspected that some Mumbra residents were infected and through them, the infection had passed on to the officer.
After the officer tested positive, Thane municipal corporation authorities tested over 100 people who had come in direct contact with the officer, which included Awhad, policemen from the station house, journalists and few others.
The initial report showed that two journalists from Thane, three policemen from Mumbra police station and 14 men associated with Awhad were infected and had to be hospitalised.
Over 90 per cent staff of the Mumbra police station was sent into home quarantine while staffers were pulled from other police stations and headquarters to be deployed at the police station.
Those in touch with Awhad and had tested positive included five of his police bodyguards, house helps, cook and some party workers.
NCP MLA Jitendra Awhad is also suspected of passing on the virus unknowingly to former MP and NCP leader from Thane, Anand Paranjape, who was in touch with him.
After a string of people testing positive around him, Jitendra Awhad had quarantined himself despite testing negative for the virus. A week later, on Tuesday, he checked himself in a hospital for precautionary check-up and was tested positive on Thursday.