Health Minister of Jharkhand Banna Gupta tested Covid positive on Saturday. He has isolated himself at his residence in Jamshedpur. Banna Gupta was not feeling well, he had cough since last few days. “He undertook a Covid-19 test. The report has come positive.

Within the state health department too, additional chief secretary Arun Kumar Singh and over a dozen officials are learnt to have tested positive in the last two days.

Banna Gupta is the fourth state cabinet minister to test postive for Covid. The others are Mithilesh Thakur, Haji Hussain Ansari and Jagarnath Mahto, who tested positive during the first wave. Mithilesh Thakur has recovered, but Haji Hussain Ansari succumbed to post-Covid complications. However Jagarnath Mahto developed severe lung complications and had to undergo a lung transplant. It took him over eight months to fully recover.

Cases are rising rapidly in the current phase of the pandemic with at least half a dozen lawmakers contracting the virus recently. Among them are BJP’s Hazaribagh MP Jayant Sinha, Congress’s Barkagaon MLA Amba Prasad and BJP’s Kanke MLA Samri Lal.

Infections are being reported mong frontline workers too, like doctors and policemen. Reports suggest that over 50 doctors of Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) and 150 policemen of the state have tested positive in a week.