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Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge tests positive for COVID-19

New Delhi : Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, on Thursday tested positive for COVID-19. The Congress leader is currently asymptomatic and is under home isolation. "He is asymptomatic and is under home isolation. He is fully vaccinated but was not yet eligible for his precaution dose," his office said in a statement. Ravindra Garimella, secretary to Kharge, wrote in the statement, "Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, has tested positive for COVID-19 in a routine RT-PCR test on 12th January 2022." "Kharge is asymptomatic and is under home isolation as per guidelines. He is fully vaccinated, but was not yet eligible for his precautionary or booster dose which required a 9-month gap from the date of the second dose of vaccination," it read. "Five staff members in his Delhi office had tested positive a few days back, including the Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition, RS. They are all doing fine and are recovering well under home isolation," it read. The statement said, "Kharge would like to use this opportunity to encourage all eligible people to get vaccinated and especially, senior citizens to take the precautionary dose on a priority as soon as they are eligible. He would also like to urge the Government to look at expanding the population who are eligible to receive the booster dose and reducing the time gap between the 2nd dose and the precautionary dose." "Anyone who may have been in contact with Kharge over the last two days is requested to observe their symptoms and get themselves tested as per the ICMR guidelines," it read. Taking to Twitter as well, the Congress leader said, "I have tested positive for COVID-19 when I took a routine RT-PCR. I am asymptomatic and under home isolation, as advised." Earlier, Former Karnataka Chief Minister and senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily on Wednesday evening tested positive for COVID-19 and is under home quarantine. BJP National President JP Nadda, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Minister of State for Defence Ministry Ajay Bhatt also tested positive for COVID-19 recently. India reported 2,47,417 fresh COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Thursday. Today's fresh COVID-19 cases are about 27 per cent higher than compared to yesterday's figures. On Wednesday, the country logged 1,94,720 new COVID-19 cases.

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