Singer Kanika Kapoor, who shared on social media on Friday that she has tested positive for the highly contagious novel coronavirus or COVID-19, has been accused of “negligence” in a First Information Report (FIR) filed by the police based on a complaint by the Chief Medical Officer of Lucknow. A dinner that she attended in Lucknow has caused a scare among several senior politicians all the way to Delhi, including parliament and the President’s House.
The FIR – filed under Sections 188, 269, and 270 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) – says that when the singer was screened at the Lucknow airport on March 14, “high viral load was detected”. She was advised “home quarantine”, but the advice was “disregarded”.
Kanika Kapoor, however, has claimed that she came to Lucknow on March 11. She also says that she entered from the Mumbai airport on March 9 after she flew in from London, a city that has seen sharp increase in coronavirus cases over the last month.
According to the singer – admitted at a hospital in Lucknow – she was screened at the airports “but no problem was detected” and she was “unaware that she was carrying coronavirus”.
“The report from CMO for FIR against Kanika inadvertently mentions the date of her arrival as March 14. It is actually March 11. The police, during investigation, will correct this factual part,” senior police officer Sujeet Pandey said.
Hours before the FIR was filed, while speaking to NDTV, Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh – one of the guests at the party attended by Kanika Singh – had admitted to lapses at the airport in the state capital. “There seems to be a lapse on our part. I am going to ask my officers about how Kanika Kapoor went out of the airport undetected,” he said.
The minister has also gone into self-isolation. “The gathering – a birthday party – was in the garden of a private residence on March 14. My family and I, with other prominent families from Lucknow and some people from Delhi attended. I stayed there for an hour or so and left,” he shared.
On Friday, the 41-year-old singer shared a post on social media revealing that she developed symptoms recently and is now isolated. The post was followed by a tweet by BJP leader Vasundhara Raje where the former Rajasthan chief minister said that she and her son Dushyant Singh have self-quarantined. They were among the politicians who had attended a dinner in Lucknow recently where Kanika Kapoor was a guest.
President Ram Nath Kovind also met Dushyant Singh. The President has cancelled all his appointments as part of government measures.
The Uttar Pradesh government, meanwhile, has ordered an inquiry over the social gatherings attended by the singer during the last one week since her arrival in the state capital.
The presence of senior politicians at a large gathering has raised questions at a time when Prime Minister has called for social distancing to curb the spread of coronavirus, which originated in China in December and has spread to over 143 countries since then. Across the world, over 8,000 people have died, more than 2 lakh have been infected. India saw biggest jump in the number of cases on Friday as another 63 patients took the total number of cases to 230.