Defence secretary Ajay Kumar has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been placed under home quarantine. He got himself tested for COVID-19 after developing mild fever and was found to be infected. Kumar is the first top government official to test positive for the viral infection.
“He tested positive on Tuesday. His condition is stable and he will stay at home till he tests negative,” sources said.
A defence ministry spokesperson refused to comment on the matter.
Necessary contact tracing is being carried out in the case of the defence secretary to identify people he may have recently come in contact with and who may now be in the high-risk category, officials said.
The chief of defence staff and the three service chiefs may not have had direct contact with Kumar during the last four days, the officials added. Defence minister Rajnath Singh did not attend office on Wednesday but it was not immediately known why. The minister is discharging his duties, as usual, the officials said.
The first-floor section of the South Block in which the defence secretary has his office is being sanitised. All protocols are being followed. Nothing is being taken lightly, the officials said. Several top officials have their offices on the first floor including the defence minister, the army chief, the navy chief, and a string of bureaucrats.
Also, more COVID-19 cases have surfaced in Shastri Bhawan as Delhi has witnessed a steady increase in infections. According to officials, a joint secretary in the law ministry and the driver of a joint secretary in the culture ministry have also tested positive for the highly contagious disease.
Some days ago, a section officer in the coal ministry died due to COVID-19.