Bihar announces total lockdown from July 16-31

Agencies. Updated: 7/14/2020 8:27:31 PM National

Over 20 test COVID-19 positive in state BJP headquarters

Patna: There will be a total lockdown in Bihar from July 16-31 to contain the spread of COVID-19, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Tuesday announced.
On his official Twitter handle, Modi said the 15-day lockdown will remain in force at all municipal, district, sub divisional and block headquarters level and that guidelines were being prepared.
“The government has taken a decision to this effect... Corona has neither any vaccine nor any medicine,” Modi said in a virtual rally, details of which were shared on his Twitter handle.
The move comes close on the heels of recent spike in positive cases which had necessitated lockdowns, imposed by the local administrations, in several districts.
Meanwhile, more than 20 people, including four senior office-bearers of the BJP, have tested positive for COVID-19 at the party's headquarters, said its Bihar unit chief Sanjay Jaiswal.
Reports in a section of the media here, however, stated that the number of people found infected was as high as 75.
Jaiswal, nonetheless, maintained "only 24 samples are positive. These reports are of preliminary rapid tests and we are still awaiting the results of the comprehensive QT-RPR. None of those who have tested positive are having any symptoms. Yet, by way of abundant caution, they have all quarantined themselves at home".
He said the samples were collected on Monday upon the request of the party office, after it was learnt that a person who visited the premises recently had tested positive.
"Samples of 110 people were collected. These included not just party functionaries but all other staff members hired for running errands," he said.
Although Jaiswal did not disclose how many party functionaries were among those who tested positive, BJP spokesman Nikhil Anand confirmed these included "four office-bearers".
Party sources said the office-bearers were state vice-presidents Radhan Mohan Sharma and Rajesh Sharma, state general secretary Devesh Kumar and state general secretary (organisation) Nagendra.
The party office premises situated on the Bir Chand Patel Marg were, meanwhile, being thoroughly sanitised.
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav took potshots at the saffron party, saying "their office has become a corona hotspot and they are busy conducting virtual rallies and spreading infections thereby".
"I wonder to which jamaat (creed) these BJP leaders belong," Yadav quipped, the pun alluding to the infamous Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi.
However, Jaiswal rubbished the allegation and asserted that no crowds gather at the party office during the virtual rallies.
"All senior leaders address these through Internet from their homes. Strict instructions have been in place to follow social distancing norms and wearing of masks at the party office," he added.

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