Prime Minister Arvind Kejriwal says he tested positive, a day after addressing an election rally without a mask.
Authorities in India’s capital, New Delhi, have ordered people to stay indoors over the coming weekends in an effort to new boom in COVID-19 cases.
The announcement Tuesday came as the country reported another 37,379 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, the highest total since early September.
Among those infected was Delhi Prime Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who said in a Twitter post that he was suffering from “mild symptoms”.
Kejriwal, who addressed an election rally in the state of Uttarakhand on Monday, said he had been quarantined at home and encouraged those who had been in contact with him in the past few days to be tested. Neither the prime minister nor any of the people seen sharing the stage with him during the rally wore masks.
‘Navparivaran Sabha’ in Dehradun with the resolution of Uttarakhand Navnirman in the new year. LIVE https://t.co/KEDZQDt4I1
– Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) 3 January 2022
Facebook user Abhishekh Singh posted a message on Kejriwal’s official page in which he told the prime minister he should reflect on his behavior.
“Try spending time in isolation watching your own videos / commercials on how to be careful, wear masks and not be overcrowded in public places,” he wrote.
The capital closed gyms and cinemas last week, as well as introduced an overnight curfew in an effort to stem the spread fueled in part by the highly portable Omicron variant. All residents except essential workers will now be asked to stay home from Friday night to Monday morning.
“The government is fully prepared to fight any COVID situation,” the city’s deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said on Tuesday.
More than 200,000 people died across India last spring after a spate of Delta variant infections that brought the healthcare system to its knees.
India’s 481,000 known COVID-19 deaths are the world’s third highest toll, behind the United States and Brazil.
But underreporting is widespread and some studies have estimated that its actual toll could be up to 10 times higher.
India started reliminate vaccinations for teens Monday and will offer booster doses for people over 60 from next week.