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India’s defense secretary tests positive for Covid-19 | India News


NEW DELHI: In a development that has disrupted the country’s top defense establishment at South Block in the Raisina Hill complex here, Union defense secretary Ajay Kumar has tested positive for Covid-19.
Sources said Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and some other senior military and civilian officials did not attend their offices on Wednesday after the Kumar report threw positive shock waves through the corridors in South Block.
“Extensive contact tracing and major office disinfection are underway in South Block. There is a list of around 30 people who had close contact with the defense secretary in the past few days. They have been told to quarantine, “said a source.
Defense Ministry spokesman A Bharat Bhushan Babu, when contacted by TOI, declined to say anything on the matter. Repeated calls to Kumar, an IAS officer from the Kerala group in 1985, also went unanswered. The Defense Minister’s office, in turn, confirmed that Singh did not go to the South Block on Wednesday, but said he is “not in quarantine” at his official residence.
The defense secretary is part of virtually every meeting called by the minister, while also regularly interacting with the military. His office is located on the first floor of the South Block, very close to the minister’s office.
The offices of the chiefs of the Army and Navy, General M M Naravane and Admiral Karambir Singh, are some distance away on the same floor. While the office of the first chief of defense personnel, General Bipin Rawat, is temporarily in the basement of South Block, the head of the IAF Air Force, Marshal R K S Bhadauria, sits in nearby Vayu Sena Bhawan.

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