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Sadananda Gowda’s travel triggers quarantine question

The minister took a flight from Delhi and landed in Bengaluru on Monday as domestic flights resumed in the country after two months. Gowda then drove in his official car from the airport, sparking allegations that he had flouted the institutional quarantine requirement.

ET Bureau|
Last Updated: May 26, 2020, 12.15 PM IST
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Watch: Karnataka minister Sadananda Gowda flouts lockdown norms, says 'I am exempted'
Watch: Karnataka minister Sadananda Gowda flouts lockdown norms, says 'I am exempted'
BENGALURU: Union chemicals & fertilizers minister DV Sadananda Gowda has said that the quarantine regulations notified by Karnataka government do not apply to him as he is required to oversee supply of medicines across the country as minister in-charge of pharmaceuticals.

The minister took a flight from Delhi and landed in Bengaluru on Monday as domestic flights resumed in the country after two months. Gowda then drove in his official car from the airport, sparking allegations that he had flouted the institutional quarantine requirement. The Congress party tweeted: “Union minister @DVSadanandGowda flouts all Covid norms, lands from Delhi & walks away without quarantine. Karnataka govt rules has no exemption for anyone!! How come he comes up with his own rules? Is he not putting all his primary contacts under health risk? Why no action!"

Gowda, who represents Bengaluru North in the Lok Sabha, said he was back in Bengaluru on official work, and hence was exempted from the quarantine requirement. He told journalists later: “I am required to ensure each and every corner of the country gets sufficient supply of medicines.” According to a Karnataka government notification, every passenger arriving in the state by domestic flights from Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan is required to spend the first week in institutional quarantine and the second week in home quarantine.

Gowda told the media that he had frequently been tested for Covid-19 in Delhi, and his tests had been negative. In Bengaluru too, his swab samples were collected soon after his arrival. The minister said he has downloaded the Aarogya Setu app, which showed ‘green’, indicating he was Covid negative.

The minister later held a meeting with Karnataka’s ministers, MLAs and officials in Vidhana Soudha on availability of medicines in Karnataka. He also reviewed the spread of the pandemic in his constituency, and the availability of medicines there. The minister, his office said, has been continuously reviewing the demand and supply of medicines in all states after the outbreak of Covid-19. He is planning to visit Kerala on Tuesday to take up a review there.
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