COVID-19: Former union minister turns out be super spread in Ladakh after his death

Ground Report | Srinagar

The deceased Congress leader and the former union minister Phunsog Namgyal tested positive for the deadly virus a day after his death, but the damage was done. His two daughters have tested positive for the Coronavirus while as 145 of his primary contacts have been put under quarantine.

The 83-year-old reached home ten days ago from Delhi after which his condition deteriorated. He passed away on Monday. But hundreds of people participated in his funeral and last rites as he was the known figure for Buddhists in the Union Territory given his decades- old stint as a Congress leader, music teacher and a spiritual leader as well.

A team of doctors had taken his samples the results of which came a day after death that were positive. But damage was done. Almost all his contacts were prime suspects besides his family members, especially two daughters, who were taking care of him.

Today, Namgyal’s two daughters tested positive while as his 145 contacts, who had visited his home when the news about his death spread. Officials said that 145 contacts who visited former minister to participate in the last rites and to offer condolences have been put under quarantine.

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Medical Superintendent, Sonam Norboo Memorial (SNM) hospital Leh, Dr Tsering Samphel that two daughters of former minister have tested positive for Coronavirus KNO reported.

“A number of samples were collected from primary contacts of the deceased whose tests are awaited. So far, 145 primary suspects have been put under quarantine,” he said.

Deputy Commissioner Leh, Sachin Kumar has constituted a high level three member Committee to enquire into lapses in protocol in handling Covid-19 suspect’s body and has sought report within two days for further course of action into the same.

As per the protocol and guidelines issued by ministry of home affairs (MHA), the body of all the suspects must be kept in mortuary until the final sample reports are collected after which proper standard operating procedure (SOP) has to be followed for the burial/ last rites with attendance of very few people under close vigil of administration.

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From 1960-73 and then from 1974-80, the deceased he remained a member of the then Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council until he got elected to seventh Lok Sabha. Four years later in 1984, he was re-elected to Lok Sabha and severed the Central government as union deputy minister between 1988-89.

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  • Wahid Bhat

    Wahid Bhat is an environmental journalist with a passion for covering climate change and environmental issues. He holds a degree in English Journalism (EJ) from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication and has received Media Fellow for NFI India (National Foundation for India) and Thomson Reuters Foundation. Wahid's reporting has been published in a range of respected outlets including Earth Journalism, Global Village Space, The Quint, Youth Ki Awaaz, and Devdiscourse

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