Haryana health minister Anil Vij on Saturday announced that he has tested positive for Covid-19 and that he has been hospitalised.
The minister was also administered one shot of the trial dose of Covaxin, a Covid-19 vaccine candidate being indigenously developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) last month.
Talking about the trial shot, Vij said that antibodies start to develop in one’s body only after administration of the second dose, which is provided 28 days after the first shot, and that there is no protection from the virus till then.
Vij (67), who is also the state's home minister, urged all those who had come in contact with him during the last few days to get tested.
"I have been tested Corona positive. I am admitted in Civil Hospital Ambala Cantt. All those who have come in close contact to me are advised to get themselves tested for corona (sic)," he tweeted.
I have been tested Corona positive. I am admitted in Civil Hospital Ambala Cantt. All those who have come in close contact to me are advised to get themselves tested for corona.— ANIL VIJ MINISTER HARYANA (@anilvijminister) December 5, 2020
Stressing that experts would know better about how the Covid-19 vaccine works, Vij told PTI, "I was told that antibodies start to develop after the second dose, which is administered after 28 days of getting the first shot. And full antibodies develop only 14 days after the second dose is given. So, the complete cycle takes 42 days. In between there is no protection.”
When asked about his condition, Vij said he has sore throat, fever and body ache. "But overall, I am okay,” Vij, who is a senior leader of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and a legislator from Ambala Cantt assembly constituency, said.
Vij also said that he had gone to Panipat a few days ago where he spent 2-3 hours with a BJP leader, who had earlier tested positive for Covid-19. "Later, I got myself tested, but the first test returned negative. After some symptoms showed up, the second test was done which was reported as positive today,” he said.
A three-member delegation of the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), the BJP's coalition partner in Haryana, had met Vij on Friday and sought withdrawal of cases registered in the state against farmers participating in the “Delhi Chalo” march.
The delegation was led by JJP's state unit chief Nishan Singh and senior party leader Digvijay Singh Chautala was also a part of it. Yoga guru Ramdev too had met Vij on Tuesday in his office where some media persons were also present.
Earlier, Chief Minister M L Khattar, deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala, Assembly Speaker Gian Chand Gupta and a couple of other ministers in the BJP-JJP government had contracted the virus.
Vij had offered to be the first volunteer for the phase three trials for Covaxin. He was administered the dose on November 20 at the Civil Hospital at Ambala Cantt.