Karnataka Health Minister B.S. Sriramulu contracts COVID

Published : August 10, 2020 15:12 IST

Health and Family Welfare Minister B. Sriramulu in Mangaluru on March 17. Photo: H.S. MANJUNATH

Karnataka’s Health Minister B.S. Sriramulu took to Twitter on August 9 to announce that he had tested positive for COVID. In a series of three tweets, Sriramulu explained that he had got himself tested after developing fever on Sunday morning and that he had tested positive. He added that he had been touring “all the 30 districts of the State since the beginning of the pandemic to ensure that health services were reaching everyone and now it is time that I had to get myself tested”. In another tweet, he advised people who had come in contact with him to take suitable precaution.

The Minister had waded into a controversy less than a month ago when he pronounced that “only God can save Karnataka” from the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the State. While he sought to quickly clarify this controversial statement seeking divine intervention, the damage had already been done and observers interpreted his statement to signify the apathy of the State administration. Since then, the situation in the State has worsened considerably, with more than 5,000 positive cases being reported every day. Cumulatively, the State has seen 172,102 cases so far of which 79,765 are active cases. A day before Sriramulu tested positive, Karnataka saw its single highest day-spike on August 8 when 7,178 positive cases were reported.

Over the past few weeks, several high-profile members of the Cabinet, including Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, have tested positive for COVID-19. The Leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, too, is recuperating from the infection. Among Sriramulu’s colleagues, Forest Minister Anand Singh, Tourism Minister C. T. Ravi, Co-operation Minister S. T. Somashekhar and Horticulture Hinister B. C. Patil have also been infected with the virus. Interestingly, while all his colleagues, including the Chief Minister, have chosen to get themselves admitted to private hospitals, Sriramulu has admitted himself to the government Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital in Bengaluru.