Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar, a 1985-batch IAS officer, who had been at the forefront in battling the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in India, has reportedly tested coronavirus-positive, sources said on Wednesday.
The portion of South Block on the Raisina Hill complex in Delhi has been sealed and is in process of sanitisation. At least 35 officials working at the ministry's headquarters in South Block in the Raisina Hill have been sent on home quarantine.
After the reports of Kumar reportedly tested positive came in the corridors of South Block, many top Ministry of Defence officers did not attend their office. It was also reported that Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also did not attend the office.
The ministry is carrying out an extensive contact tracing, and disinfection of offices in South Block is underway. The offices of the defence minister, the defence secretary, the Army Chief and the Navy Chief are on the first floor of the South Block.
It has been found that around 30 people came in close contact with the defence secretary over the last couple of days and they have been told to go into home quarantine.
Till June 1, the officer was consistently active on social media and was telling masses about the government initiatives to contain the spread of the deadly virus.
Earlier in May, Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha had had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. When he announced the same on Twitter, he was asymptomatic. "I have tested positive for COVID-19. As I am asymptomatic I am in home quarantine for the next 10-12 days. Please donâ€™t underestimate transmission risks, we are all vulnerable. Do take care all," Sanjay Jha said in a tweet.
As of Thursday, India has reported 2,16,919 cases of the novel coronavirus out of which 1,04,107 persons have recovered. 1,06,737 people are undergoing treatment in the country, while 6,075 people have succumbed to COVID-19, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
(With agency inputs)