India's defence secretary Ajay Kumar has tested positive for coronavirus and is currently under home quarantine. Contact tracing so far has revealed that at least 35 officials at the ministry's headquarters in South Block in Raisina Hills have been sent on home quarantine, PTI reported citing officials.
While an official statement in the matter is awaited, two people familiar with the matter told Hindustan Times confirmed the news. Kumar was reportedly showing symptoms of COVID-19 and got himself tested. On Tuesday, Kumar's test results came back positive for coronavirus, but one of the persons said the top government official is stable and under home quarantine.
Ajay Kumar's contact tracing
Contact tracing is currently underway, but PTI reported that 30-35 officials who might have come in contact with the top bureaucrat have been sent home for mandatory quarantine as per the protocol. Kumar, who is the first top government official to test positive for the contagion, has his office on the first floor of the South Block, which is being sanitised, the officials said. But several top officials including the defence minister, the army chief, the navy chief among other top bureaucrats have their offices on the same floor as Kumar.
Defence minister at risk?
Defence minister Rajnath Singh did not attend office in the South Block on Wednesday. The defence minister's office said that Singh is not under home quarantine, but refused to reveal further. It is also unclear if Singh came in contact with Kumar and if the defence minister would be tested as a precautionary measure.