Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Monday announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19. He is the 11th Cabinet minister from the Maha Vikas Aghadi government to have been infected with the virus.
Mr. Pawar said, “I have tested positive for COVID-19, but my health is fine. I have been admitted to Breach Candy hospital after being advised by doctors. There is no need to worry. I will soon be active and will join you all after a brief rest.”
The Deputy CM had been quarantined for the last four days though he was earlier tested negative. “Since he had symptoms, he had quarantined himself. But he was tested negative then. However, after being testing positive, he decided to get admitted to the hospital,” a source close to Mr. Pawar said.
Mr. Pawar’s absence from the function where former BJP leader Eknath Khadse joined the NCP had raised eyebrows. Party chief Sharad Pawar had to clarify that the Deputy CM was not against Mr. Khadse’s entry but he was quarantined as a precaution.
Earlier, Cabinet ministers Jitendra Awhad, Dhananjay Munde, Ashok Chavan, Balasaheb Patil, Aslam Sheikh, Nitin Raut, Hasan Mushreef, Varsha Gaikwad, Eknath Shinde, and Anil Parab, and ministers of State Abdul Sattar, Sanjay Bansode and Vishwajeet Kadam had tested positive. All have recovered and joined duties. Two days ago, Leader of Opposition and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis tested positive for the virus. He too is currently admitted to a hospital.