Union Minister DV Sadananda Gowda
Union Minister DV Sadananda Gowda held a meeting with Deputy Chief Minister CN Ashwathnarayan, Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar, other leaders and officials over #COVID19, in Bengaluru earlier today. Image Credit: Twitter/ANI

Bengaluru: Update:  The Karnataka government exempted Union and state ministers and officials from quarantine, which it made mandatory for all entering the state from other states or overseas to contain the Covid-19 outbreak, a top official said on Monday.

"The ministers of Union government or state governments or officers on duty will be exempted from quarantine as has been done for health professionals," said state Health Commissioner P.K. Pandey in an order here.

The order has also exempted any person who gets a Covid negative test certificate from an ICMR approved lab which is not more than 2 days old from the date of journey, from institution quarantine.

The order has also exempted airlines crew on official duty from quarantine.

Earlier report

Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers, Sadananda Gowda, kicked off a controversy by avoiding the quarantine regulations in force in Karnataka, where he landed on Monday, the first day domestic flight services resumed in the country.

Arriving here on a flight from Delhi on Monday afternoon, the minister was seen walking over to his vehicle and leaving the airport premises even as his co-passengers waited to go through the arrival procedures that include institutional quarantine for seven days.

Speaking in his defence, the minister's associates said that Gowda was regularly tested in Delhi where he has been stationed throughout the lockdown period. Citing a 4pm meeting that he had to attend, the minister also justified his actions by claiming that as the head of the ministry dealing with pharmaceuticals, he has to be travelling all over the country.

The minister landed at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) on Monday afternoon, donning a protective visor and a face mask, and headed straight to his waiting vehicle.

All passengers coming into the city in flights must head for seven-day institutional quarantine at a hotel of their choice or in the designated hostels set up by the government.

He claimed that though he could charter a flight to Bengaluru, he chose not to do so as it won't be fair on his part.