Coronavirus | CM to monitor administration from hospital through video conference link
Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa, who has been hospitalised after he tested positive for COVID-19, is set to monitor State administration from the hospital bed through video conferencing link to be established at the suite room in Manipal Hospital where he is currently put up. The 77-year-old Mr. Yediyurappa is asymptomatic and is said to be doing well.
Putting an end to speculation on the impact of Chief Minister’s hospitalisation on the State’s administration, Chief Secretary T. M. Vijay Bhaskar told The Hindu: “We will strive to minimise its impact on administration. Bureaucrats and other ministers will carry on with their administrative duties, keeping in touch with the Chief Minister through a video conference link”.
A senior minister close to the Chief Minister said: “The Chief Minister is anyway asymptomatic and doing well. He is hospitalised only to ensure that he is under medical supervision as he is vulnerable due to his old age and comorbidities of diabetes and hypertension. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivaraj Singh Chauhan, who has also tested positive for COVID-19 and is hospitalised, is overseeing the administration of his State from hospital. So it shall work fine here too.”
As per new protocols, asymptomatic patients are being discharged in five days, so it is hoped that his hospital stay will also be not long. With guidelines for Unlock 3.0 that will be in effect till August 31 also notified, there are no major policy decisions lined up in the coming week as well, sources said.
Multiple sources in the government said that there had been no discussions about handing over the responsibilities of the administration to another minister in the absence of the Chief Minister. “The three Deputy Chief Ministers and other ministers in-charge of various aspects of COVID-19 management will work as before,” a senior minister said. This gains significance as there have been speculations and intense lobbying for leadership change within the party in the last few months and the Chief Minister is reportedly not keen on making any one person in-charge in his absence. “It would trigger unnecessary political speculations and heartburn,” a senior party strategist close to the Chief Minister said.
Meanwhile, almost the entire top tier of the State’s administration of ministers and bureaucrats have been in close proximity to Mr. Yeddyurappa over the last few days and the administration will be hit if all of them go into home quarantine. His Cabinet colleagues and senior bureaucrats including the Chief Secretary are now lining up for COVID-19 tests – both Rapid Antigen tests and RT-PCR tests. These samples will be tested on a priority basis and results declared in a window of 24 hours, sources said. Those who test negative will continue working taking all precautions, while those who test positive will undergo appropriate medical treatment protocols, sources said. “I got myself a rapid antigen test this morning and I tested negative,” Mr. Vijay Bhaskar told The Hindu
The Chief Minister was mostly home from Friday, Varamahalakshmi festival day when he took part in the puja at home and mostly stayed home during the weekend. “He met only a few bureaucrats during the last three days and not any ministers,” a source close to the Chief Minister said. This would have also reduced the risk of his contacts contracting the infection from him, it is hoped.
Three Cabinet ministers – Tourism Minister C. T. Ravi, Forest Minister Anand Singh and Agriculture Minister B. C. Patil – have till date tested positive for COVID-19. While the former two ministers have been cured of the infection, the latter is in home quarantine. Over six legislators have also tested positive for the virus in the State, till date.