Seven staff members of the office of Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajander have tested positive for the coronavirus. Two drivers, three gunmen and two personal assistants of the minister have been found infected by the coronavirus, sources in the minister's office said on Saturday. Rajender also underwent a COVID-19 test but it turned out to be negative.
As a precautionary measure, the minister did not attend office and operated from his residence. Some other employees in the office also stayed away. Health and municipal personnel took up sanitisation of the minister's office at BRK Bhavan, which is serving as the temporary state secretariat. This is the first time that staff members in the Health Minister's office have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Earlier, employees in various departments in the BRK Bhavan were found infected. During the recent state legislature session, members cutting across party lines had praised the Health Minister for his hard work and best efforts to tackle the pandemic. Apart from holding regular review meetings with the officials, the minister personally visited government-run hospitals in Hyderabad and other towns and called on COVID-19 patients.
Meanwhile, Telangana saw 2,123 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the total infection count to 1,69,169, while the death toll rose to 1,025 with nine more fatalities in a 24-hour period, the daily COVID-19 bulletin issued on Saturday stated.
Out of the 2,123 new cases, 305 were reported from the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) region, followed by the districts of adjoining Rangareddy (185), and Medchal-Malkajgiri (149). While Nalgonda saw 135 new cases, Karimnagar reported 112. The cumulative recovered cases stood at 1,37,508, while 30,636 were under treatment.
The bulletin said 54,459 samples were tested on September 18. Cumulatively, the number of samples tested stood at 24,34,409. The samples tested per million population was 65,570, it said.
The case fatality rate in the state was 0.60%, while it was 1.61% at the national level, it said, adding that the recovery rate in the state rose to 81.28%, while it was 79.26% in the country.
With IANS and PTI inputs