150 quarantined in leh after they rushed to condole leaders death

SRINAGAR, Jun 4 (Agencies): A day after the last rites of the respected Ladakh leader, P Namgyal, more than 150 people from a cross-section of the Leh society have been put under quarantine.

In a rush of emotions, they all had rushed to the top leader’s home and consoled his family members.

Of the four close relatives of Namgyal, reports said, two have tested positive and two negative.

A former minister in the union cabinet, Congressman Namgyal was a veteran Ladakh

leader who represented the desert region, now a UT, in parliament thrice. Namgyal was

minister of state for Parliamentary Affairs, Surface Transport and Chemicals and Petrochemicals in the Rajiv Gandhi government. Congress sees him as the second most important Ladakh leader after Khushok Bakula Rinpoche. He contracted the infection and died of the Coronavirus.

After his death, now Leh is in panic. Authorities and the civil society failed to understand that the norms set for the condolences and they all rushed to Namgyal

residence to express their sympathies. Now everybody is in a panic if they have contracted the virus or not. However, the last rites of the dead leader were performed by

the administration as per the set protocol.

Those advised to be in-home quarantine include the Chief Executive Councilor of the

Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Leh and at least four of his executive

councillors. Also, there are some top officials of the Ladakh UT administration, politicians, some doctors, journalists, police officials and even commoners who have been quarantined. Authorities have already collected their samples and sent them for testing.

BJP has now demanded that the handling of the Namgyal’s mortal remains shall be investigated as the set protocol was flouted.

Authorities have taken certain measures. Reports said the district administration has constituted two committees to probe the lapses if any. Officials, however, do admit a prima facie case in the handling of the body.

Namgyal was in Delhi and flew home on May 28. Two days later he reported unwell and was driven to the hospital where he died on June 1. Dr Diskit Dolma, one of Namgyal’s three daughters said her father was briefly ill and was taken to the Sonam Norbu Memorial Hospital where he died. He is survived by three daughters and wife.

Samples taken from his body tested positive posthumously. With his death, the Ladakh region reported the first Coronavirus death. However, some pilgrims from Kargil have died earlier of the pandemic in Iran.

Authorities said they have contacted the aircraft that flew Namgyal home and suggested them to take adequate measures.

A resident of in Summor in Nubra, Namgyal was an Agriculture Research Officer before

joining politics in 1969.

The region that was earlier dubbed infection-free has now 42 active cases. Of the latest nine cases, seven reported from Kargil. It was not immediately known if they have a recent travel history.

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