Nagpur :- Washim district administration’s worst fears came true when at least 15 people from Pohradevi temple and its nearby areas, where Maharashtra Forest Minister Sanjay Rathod had a massive show of strength on Tuesday, tested positive for coronavirus.
Those affected by the deadly virus included temple’s chief priest Mahant Kabirdas Maharaj and four loyalists of Rathod, who was linked with the mysterious death of a TikTok star Pooja Chavan at Pune on February 8.
One of the infected persons, Kabirdas Maharaj was present during the visit by the minister, who visited the shrine along with over 20,000 of his supporters who had come there from different districts of Maharashtra to boost the morale of the minister. The Opposition, particularly the BJP are demanding that the minister should be booked and be sacked from the Thackeray Cabinet.
Most of the people, who gathered at the temple flouted the COVID-19 norms and even didn’t wear masks.
Kabirdas Maharaj and his family members had undergone a COVID-19 test two days ago. The test later established that Kabirdas Maharaj and five members of his family were infected with the deadly virus. Four close supporters, who accompanied the minister at the shrine, reportedly from Yavatmal, were also infected. However, no one from the administration has confirmed it so far.
After the visit of the minister, the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had taken a serious note of the gathering at the Poharadevi temple and directed the district and police administration to immediately take action against the concerned for flouting COVID-19 norms. The district administration had registered offences against around 10 people for violating the COVID-19 norms. However, no offence was registered against the minister, Rathod, who was instrumental for the gathering at the temple.
Meanwhile, as many as 229 students at a residential school at Degaon near Washim have tested positive for Covid-19 as the state battles an apparent second wave of infections, district health officer Avinash Aher said. Four teaching and non-teaching staffers have also been found to be infected, he added.
The ruling Shiv Sena lawmaker from Yavatmal, Bhavna Gawli, runs the school. “Necessary treatment is being given to the patients. Almost all the students are asymptotic,” informs the district health officer, Aher.