Wife, son and 16 family & staff COVID-19 positive. How safe is Sikkim CM Prem Singh Golay?
GANGTOK: On Thursday, legislator Aditya Golay from Soreng Chakung constituency tested COVID-19 positive. He is also the son of chief minister Prem Singh Golay. And on Monday, the CM's wife, Krishna Kumari Rai, also tested positive.
In due course, 8 primary contacts of Krishna Kumari Rai tested positive and were put in isolation at the official residence of CM at Mintokgang. On Thursday, Aditya along with 8 other staff members from Chief Minister's residence in Lumsey who tested positive are in isolation at Lumsey, as per reports.
Health director-general Dr Pempa Tshering Bhutia speaking on Aditya Golay testing positive, stated, "Can't ascertain who are who but there are 8 from the Chief Minister's residence in Lumsey who are COVID-19 positive. They may be staff from the residence. Legislator Aditya is in self-isolation at Lumsey, he will come to the hospital if he gets symptoms".
What is alarming is, both the official and personal residence of the chief minister are now containment zones. There are 9 individuals in each of the homes who are COVID-19 positive. Many citizens now want to know if the CM Prem Singh Golay is safe from the virus and where is he currently staying?
"CM so far is negative, let's hope he is isolating himself. There is no guarantee that COVID-19 virus won't infect the chief minister. CM is a primary contact. He is in isolation, and none of us have met him; there have been no meetings with him. Before the assembly session also, he was meeting people," stated Dr. Bhutia.
Secretary to the chief minister's Office Shanker Dev Dhakal speaking with EastMojo stated, "CM is fit and fine currently. If there is any change in his health, we will take necessary action. CM is working even right now, but everything is happening virtually. He was part of Global e-summit on Sustainable Development Goals just yesterday, which I was part of as well. Friday, he is holding a meeting on the cancer hospital. He is not in isolation, but all such meetings will happen virtually".
On being asked where the CM is staying, secretary SD Dhakal stated, "Mintokgang has two buildings, so one has been isolated, and he is staying in the new building towards Raj Bhawan. He is in the containment zone, but they are separate buildings. Until a test report comes, there is nothing we can ascertain".
Earlier on Monday, the official residence of the CM at Mintokgang, which was initially converted as a COVID care centre. But the Health Department has backtracked on its decision and termed it as 'home isolation centre for CM's family', after facing flak from the public and opposition parties for alleged 'VIP treatment'. The residence at Mintokgang has 4 doctors on VIP duty while 2 nurses are stationed there for round the clock assessment of the CM's family.
Allegedly the Chief Minister's family started testing COVID positive following a funeral ceremony of his father-in-law, last week at Namchi, South Sikkim. It is reported that CM's wife and family may have contracted the virus during the funeral ceremony when there was a big turnout.
On Namchi Funeral being the hotbed for the virus spread, Dr Bhutia stated, "We are differentiating the primary contacts, symptomatic are being identified. Rest needs to be done by the administration. Lapses in protocol is not our part."
The Chief Minister along with legislator Aditya Golay took part in the Legislative Assembly session on Monday, which had the attendance of all the legislators except five who had tested positive earlier. It appears all of them including CM and legislator Aditya had undergone the COVID-19 test before the session and were declared negative
The five COVID-19 positive legislators skipped the Assembly session, with Aditya Golay and rural development minister Sonam lama testing positive; there are eight legislators in home isolation.