Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said he was going into self-quarantine after a deputy secretary in his office tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Wednesday. However, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) RD Dhiman said the chief minister’s sample was taken for testing for coronavirus infection and his result came as negative around 9 pm. He said the chief minister's wife and two other family members have also tested negative for the virus.
Earlier in the day, after the deputy secretary had tested positive for the virus, Thakur told the media, “As per coronavirus protocol, I am going to quarantine myself. He then quarantined himself at his official residence at Oakover here."
Dhiman said that a total of 63 samples were taken for testing soon afterwards -- 36 samples including those of the CM, his staff and security personnel posted at his official residence Oakover; and 27 of officials and other staff at his office in the state secretariat.
While the four results – of the CM and his family members – were received around 9 pm, the rest would be available in the morning, Dhiman said.
The ACS (Health) said that all the contacts of the deputy secretary in the CM office who has tested positive have been asked to home-quarantine.
Dhiman said the CM’s office was fully disinfected and it will work as usual on Thursday.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the state, 61 more people tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday, pushing the number of positive cases in the state to 1,726.
The fresh cases include 23 from Shimla district, followed by 10 from Solan, seven each from Sirmaur and Una, six from Kangra, four from Chamba, three from Mandi and one from Hamirpur.
Also, 28 COVID-19 patients -- Shimla (seven), Kangra (six), Solan (five), Chamba (four), Hamirpur (three), Una (three) -- recovered on Wednesday and the number of active cases now stands at 593.
As many as 1,105 patients have recovered, while 11 died due to the virus.
Fifteen patients have migrated out of the state.
(With PTI inputs)