MP senior bureaucrat continues to work despite testing COVID-19 positive, earns praise

An IAS officer tasked with drugs, equipment and logistics had tested positive and an additional director (health), both part of the state’s task force against the disease, had tested positive. Other officers have also given their samples.

JUST A day after she tested positive for the coronavirus, Madhya Pradesh’s Principal Secretary (Health) Pallavi Jain Govil, who is playing a key role in the state’s fight against COVID-19, was back at work — from the room where she has been quarantined.

In a short video message on Sunday, Govil started with the day’s health bulletin — 193 cases, with 13 deaths. Then, she said: “You must have read in newspapers that I have tested positive. Because we were continually working with many officers, it’s possible that I may have got the infection from someone. But I don’t have any symptoms. I am healthy and on doctor’s advice working from my room.”

In the message, she went on to describe how she felt no discomfort at all. “…for most people, corona is a mild infection without any symptoms. It’s better to be at home. Maybe, we are infected. In the absence of symptoms, we are unaware and, therefore, unknowingly spread it,’’ she said.

Govil’s resolve earned praise from Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan after she took part in a video-conference he held with senior bureaucrats and officials Sunday. “It’s with assistance from officials like you that we will soon get rid of the infection from the state,’’ he said, adding that he had advised her rest but she chose to work.

Earlier, two senior officials who are part of the state’s task force against the disease — an IAS officer tasked with drugs, equipment and logistics, and an additional director (health) — had tested positive.

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