Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij tweeted this morning to say that he has tested positive for coronavirus. Mr Vij, 67, said he is admitted at the Civil Hospital in Ambala. The announcement comes a little over two weeks after he participated in the clinical trials of a coronavirus vaccine.
The minister also urged all those who had come in close contact with him to get themselves 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,” Mr Vij tweeted.
On November 20, Mr Vij, who is also Haryana’s Health Minister, participated in the third phase trial of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. He had earlier announced on Twitter that he will be the first volunteer in his state for the vaccine trials.
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
“The antibodies against the infection build up in a human being only after a specific number of days pass after the second dose of the vaccine is taken, since this is a two-dose vaccine. The minister in question has taken only one dose of the vaccine,” the Union Health Ministry said after Mr Vij’s announcement.
Bharat Biotech, that is developing the vaccine, said the clinical trials of Covaxin are based on a two-dose schedule, given 28 days apart. “The vaccine efficacy will be determined 14 days post the second dose. Covaxin has been designed to be efficacious when subjects receive both doses,” the drug maker said, reacting to the news of the Haryana minister testing positive.
Covaxin has been evaluated in about 1,000 subjects in the first two phases of clinical trials, with promising safety and immunogenicity data.
“The Phase-3 trials are double-blinded and randomised, where 50% of subjects (participants in the trial) receive vaccine and 50% of subjects receive placebo,” the company said.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, while wishing Mr Vij a speedy recovery, tweeted that he hoped the centre “takes note of the concerns raised over the vaccine and that the upcoming vaccine is completely safe and effective”.
A three-member delegation of the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), the BJP’s coalition partner in Haryana, had met Mr Vij on Friday and sought withdrawal of cases registered in the state against farmers participating in the protest against the new farm laws. 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 Mr Vij on Tuesday.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had tested positive for coronavirus in August, and was admitted to a private hospital in Gurgaon near Delhi. The state assembly speaker, Gian Chand Gupta , had tested positive a day earlier, two days before the assembly session.
Haryana has reported over 2.4 lakh Covid cases so far, including 2,539 deaths.