Union Minister and BJP MP Sadananda Gowda was exempted from compulsory institutional quarantine after he took a flight from Delhi to Bengaluru on Monday.
After landing at Bengaluru airport, Gowda straightaway got into his car and drove off to his residence. His assistant said that Gowda had tested negative for Covid-19, so he can home quarantine.
The SOP issued by Karnataka government for air travel, however, warrants institutional quarantine for passengers from six states with high COVID-19 caseload -- Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh -- for seven days.
After facing flak from the opposition, Gowda claimed that although guidelines are applicable to all citizens, certain people with “responsible posts” are exempted from them.
"Guidelines are applicable to all citizens, but there are certain exemption clauses, for those who hold certain responsible posts," Gowda told news agency ANI on being asked why he did not undergo institutional quarantine after air travel.
"I am a Minister and I am heading Pharmaceutical Ministry. If the supply of medicines and other things is not proper then what doctors can do for patients, is it not a failure of government? It' is my responsibility to ensure the supply of medicines to each corner of the country," he said.
Karnataka on Monday reported 69 new cases of coronavirus, taking the total number of infections in the state to 2,158.
With 43 deaths and 680 discharges, there are 1,433 active corona cases in the state, the health department said.