Tamil Nadu's Electricity, Prohibition and Excise minister P Thangamani has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and has isolated himself temporarily. Sources in the Chief Minister's office tell TNM that the minister and a member of his family tested positive for the virus on Tuesday.
Minister Thangamani has been visiting multiple districts during the lockdown period to help with the state's battle against the virus. The 59-year-old Minister, according to reports, had even met the Chief Minister in the Secretariat a day before he was confirmed to have been infected. Sources further tell TNM that he was part of a party meeting in the AIADMK head office in Chennai with Minister SP Velumani and party leaders including Natham Viswanathan and KP Munusamy.
"The CMO was informed on Wednesday about the positive status of the minister. Caution was exercised but it is a crucial time for both the government and party, with the COVID-19 pandemic and upcoming elections. So, the senior ministers had to hold meetings," says a source in the party.
P Thangamani is the second minister in Tamil Nadu to test positive for the infection. Higher Education Minister KP Anabazhagan's second sample tested positive for COVID-19 in June. Abazhagan had been admitted to MIOT hospital in the city and while he did not display any symptoms initially, a CT scan was taken and he was kept under observation.
His second sample then tested positive and he also had a mild cough. The minister was part of the COVID-19 control team and was admitted to MIOT on June 11.
Thangamani, according to sources, is now considering whether to follow home quarantine or get admitted. Tamil news channels however say thay he has been admitted to a private hospital.
"The Minister has very small symptoms and doesn't have any comorbidities. He and a family member are considering what the next step should be at this point," says a source in the party.
The only elected representative to die of the infection so far was DMK MLA J Anbazhagan. The 62-year-old legislator passed away at the Dr Rela Institute and Medical Centre after he was admitted on June 2. He passed away on his 62nd birthday.