The district president of the South Dinajpur Youth Congress has been tested positive for Covid-19, following which, at least 45 TMC leaders, including district president Arpita Ghosh and minister Rajib Banerjee, have now gone into self-isolation, party leaders said.

It is learnt that the youth president had attended an organisational meeting with the top leaders in the Saraihat Utsav Bhavan in Buniadpur in South Dinajpur on 25 June (SNS photo). Meanwhile, in a move that surprised all, Mrs Ghosh addressed a routine press conference under the ‘Banglar Gorbo Mamata’ today where she said that the youth leader had tested positive for the virus and that the leaders, including her, were opting for self-isolation. ”

All the leaders present in that meeting will have to go for sample collection. The district leaders have decided to go to the swab collection kiosk in Balurghat and Gangarampur on 2 July,” party sources said here today. The Covid graph is going up every day in the district, with new patients detected every day. Twelve more positive cases were detected this morning, including six from the Kushmandi Block and six from Gangarampur, while the others are two police personnel, two health staff, two politicians and others.

The tally has now gone up to 191 cases, though the recovery rate in the district is also hight, health department sources said. At least 100 patients have been cured till Friday evening, it is learnt. “But the number of new patients is still going up and some new cases have been detected on people who do not have any travel history. We may say that community spreading has started in some parts of the district,” a senior official at the health department said.

At the press conferencetoday, Mrs Ghosh said, “Forty-five leaders were present in the meeting at Saraihat, including minister Rajib Banerjee and senior leader Sankar Chakrabarty. We have decided to go into self-quarantine and I have also advised Mr Banerjee to go for tests. For the leaders of Balurghat, swabs will be collected on 2 July in Balurghat and for Gangarampur subdivision at the Super the Specialty hospital. All leaders who came in close contact with the youth president will stay at home.”