Kozhikode: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, days after her daughter and son-in-law were found infected. The CM, who is asymptomatic, was shifted to the Medical College Hospital in Kozhikode.
Pinarayi, who had taken the first dose of the Covid vaccine last month, confirmed his infection in a tweet.
"I have been confirmed Covid +ve. Will get treated at the Government Medical college, Kozhikode," he tweeted.
The chief minister also requested all those who came in contact with him in recent days, to go into 'self-observation'. He is yet to receive the second vaccine shot.
Governor Arif Mohammad Khan said in a tweet he spoke to the chief minister "who is hospitalised after testing COVID postive. Relieved that his health is stable. I wish Hon'ble chief minister and family members speedy recovery."
Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda and DMK supremo M K Stalin wished the 75-year-old Vijayan a speedy recovery.
Pinarayi, who was the CPI(M) candidate from Dharmadom in Kannur, had travelled extensively throughout the state during the campaign for the April 6 Assembly polls. He had also participated in the road show at Dharmadom on the last day of the campaign.
His daughter Veena Vijayan's samples had returned positive on Tuesday. Veena cast her vote in the Kerala assembly elections on Tuesday wearing a PPE kit. The day after, her husband and LDF candidate for Beypore constituency P A Mohammed Riyas also tested positive for the infection. Both are under treatment at the Kozhikdoe MCH.
A medical board will be formed to decide further treatments for the CM. Experts will be sent to Kozhikode if needed. Directions have been issued to the CM's personal staff to undergo self-quarantine.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy also tested positive on Thursday.
The 77-year-old Chandy, who contested from Puthuppallyin Kottayam, had not been keeping well since the past two days and tested positive for the virus, the sources said.
The governor wished Chandy a speed recovery.
Kerala recorded 4,353 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, the biggest spike in recent days in the state, as the total caseload rose to 11.48 lakh.
In view of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in the country, the restrictions and safety measures in Kerala were intensified from Thursday. Kerala Police personnel have been instructed to ensure the use of masks in public spaces and to check if people are following the COVID-19 protocol.
The decisions were taken at the core committee meeting headed by the chief secretary in view of the rising number of coronavirus positive cases in the state.
The authorities fear that things might take a turn for the worse, as the elections and the campaign saw huge crowds of people across the state.