Union minister for chemicals and fertilizers, D V Sadananda Gowda who flew to Bengaluru from Delhi on Monday didn’t undergo the institutional quarantine mandatory for all fliers from six hotspot states.
According to reports, he flouted norms claiming he had immunity granted by his ministership.
Gowda, who was also the former chief minister of Karnataka, said he had exemption from quarantine as his ministry was part of essential services.
“I did not want to burden the exchequer by using a private aircraft or a chartered flight and so I came by a regular flight today. There is an exemption from quarantine that is available to me as minister for the pharma sector,” the minister was quoted as saying.
Under Karnataka’s quarantine rules for arrivals by domestic flights from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi, all passengers are required to be in institutional quarantine for seven days followed by seven days of home quarantine if they are asymptomatic for the virus.
As the controversy began to blow up with Congress questioning violation, Karnataka’s Department of Health and Family Welfare modified its standard operating procedures for quarantine of inter-state passengers, granting exemption from quarantine to ministers and government officers on duty.
Gowda was away from Bengaluru since lockdown began.
He left for his home soon after arrival at the airport and was scheduled to attend meetings with elected representatives and ministers on COVID-19 situation.