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BSY, Siddaramaiah attended multiple public events, contact tracing is now a nightmare

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BENGALURU, 05 August 2020 [Fik/News Sources]: The bonhomie of BS Yediyurappa and Siddaramaiah has been on display several times in the past, despite the two leaders being political rivals. And now, both politicians have been admitted to the Manipal Hospital in Bengaluru — within a gap of two days — after they tested positive for the coronavirus. Over the last couple of months, the Chief Minister and the Leader of Opposition had exposed themselves by appearing on numerous public platforms.

Although both leaders had been very cautious in the months of April, May and June, in July, even as the number of COVID-19 cases in Bengaluru started rising, the two leaders were seen taking part in various events.

Yediyurappa’s schedule, over the last week, was packed with public events. From site inspections to inaugurations, the Chief Minister had been visibly trying to bring back normalcy. Yediyurappa had been vocal against a prolonged lockdown in order to instill a sense of confidence in the people and thus, had been leading from the front— being in the public view, resuming most activities of the pre-COVID-19 era. 

Congress leader Siddaramaiah had been sceptical about making public appearances during Lockdown 1 and 2 considering his comorbidities which make him more vulnerable to the virus. But the accelerating internal rivalry within his party forced him to abandon caution and start being more visible in party events, a source in his office told TNM.  

On July 27, CM Yediyurappa released a book highlighting the achievements of his one-year-old government. Over the next three days, he laid the foundation stone for the Life Sciences Park at Electronic City and inaugurated the Bengaluru Metro tunneling work. On July 31, Yediyurappa inaugurated the new Keonics Warehouse for Cubation and Startup Facilities in HSR Layout, Bengaluru after which he held meetings with Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala and Dr K Kasturirangan, Chairman of the committee which drafted the New Education Policy (NEP).

Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition, Siddaramaiah, was seen taking part in several Congress protests against the state and Union governments over the past month. On July 27, several Congress leaders were detained for holding a protest against the alleged attempts by BJP to topple the party's government in Rajasthan. The 71-year-old leader was seen wearing a mask, but was amid a crowd of people with no distancing followed. He was detained and released later on the same day.

Siddaramaiah also travelled to his home district of Mysuru and to Mandya over the last one week where he held press conferences attended by several journalists, with hardly any physical distancing. During his visits, the former Chief Minister also met with several politicians who had been touring the districts, like N Chaluvaraya Swamy and PM Narendra Swamy among others. 

The virus was detected after Siddaramiah developed fever due to a urinary infection and through the course of examinations, it was confirmed on Tuesday morning that he was COVID-19 positive. 

Both leaders had met scores of people over the last one week and while their immediate family and members of their respective teams are being quarantined and tested, it might not be feasible to do so for everyone they could have possibly come in contact with, making contact tracing a nightmare. 

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