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New Delhi, March 20, 2020
Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor, who shot to limelight after her 'Baby Doll' performance, has tested positive for coronavirus, sending many in the political elite of the country into quarantine after she attended multiple bashes in Lucknow. The repercussions are being felt in Delhi, too.
Former BSP MP Akbar Ahmed Dumpy threw a birthday party on March 14 which was attended by many socialites and royals. In the list,were Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh, Congress leader Jitin Prasada, Rajasthan's former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia and her MP son Dushyant Singh, among others. But among the others was Kanika Kapoor.
The party was one among the three hosted by the father-in-law of former Union Minister Jitin Prasada which high-profile dignitaries attended.
The singer stayed at Shalimar Gallante in Mahanagar in Lucknow and now another person from the same building has been found positive, said sources. The singer had also been interacting with her friends in the high-rise building where her parents stay in Mahanagar area.
She also paid a visit to her uncle's family in Kanpur.
The Health Minister of Uttar Pradesh, a state with more than 20 crore people, meanwhile, goes to a cabinet meeting where he meets Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his deputies -- Dinesh Sharma and Keshav Prasad Maurya. Ironically, the huddle was meant to discuss how to contain the spread of the virus which has been deemed a "pandemic" by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Singh also met his other cabinet colleagues and later a press conference was also held.
He even met top bureaucrats including the Health Department officials.
In the meanwhile, Kanika Kapoor continued to mingle with neighbours and admirers across the length and breadth of Lucknow, even obliging for selfie requests.
Meanwhile, Dushyant Singh flew back to the national capital and headed straight to Parliament. He met leaders of all hues. Former Union Minister Anupriya Patel was one of them. She took to Twitter to announce: ""I met Dushyant Singh at an event yesterday. As a precautionary measure, I have placed myself under self-isolation. I will follow the government's directions on this."
Singh was also spotted chating with Union Minister Pralhad Patel. He also attended a standing committee of Transport, Tourism and Culture where he met Trinamool Congress member Derek O' Brien among many. The Trinamool Congress' Rajya Sabha member said it is a very serious matter if Singh is under isolation as he was sitting near to him two days ago. In turn, Rajya Sabha AAP MP Sanjay Singh on Friday announced he will go in for self quarantine as he had been meeting O'Brien.
Media persons were also scared as many of them from different organisations had spoken to Singh when he was present in Parliament this week -- after attending the party where Kapoor was present.
In the action following, Uttar Pradesh's Yogi Adityanath government has directed Lucknow District Magistrate Abhishek Prakash to submit a report within 24 hours on the parties attended by Bollywood singer in the state capital.
But that doesn't seem to have worked as the mayhem continued. The Taj Hotel where Kanika Kapoor attended a party, has been closed till further orders, according to the orders issued by the District Magistrate on Friday evening.
Meanwhile, Adityanath has ordered sanitisation of Lucknow, Noida and Kanpur, places Kanika Kapoor and those who met her visited. UP Health minister, who has now self-quarantined himself, had visited Noida recently.
What's more? The Chief Minister, after talking to the Health Minister, has also ordered the closure of all malls and restaurants in the state.
"Sanitisation will be a massive exercise in which possible suspects will be tracked and checked. We do not want any further spurt in the number of coronavirus patients. Kanika Kapoor has interacted with an unimaginably large number of people and we cannot take chances," said a medical official.
While Dushyant Singh's test report has come negative, according to BJP sources, the government is wary about the health hazard, nevertheless.