In yet another distressing development from the state of Madhya Pradesh, a BJP MLA in the state has passed away in the evening hours of Monday in Bhopal due to the COVID-19 viral infection. As the state has been combating the second wave of the pandemic, the leaders have been paying tribute to the deceased legislator, who had also served as a minister.
According to reports, 79-year-old Jugal Kishore Bagri was a BJP MLA representing the Raigaon constituency. Recently, he was tested positive for the COVID-19 pandemic and was hospitalized at a private hospital in Bhopal. Despite the efforts to save him, Bagri had breathed his last on Monday evening due to the pandemic. He has become the third MLA of Madhya Pradesh to succumb to the pandemic in the last 17 days.
Earlier, Congress MLA of Jobat, Kalavati Bhuria has passed away on April 24 while ex-minister and Prithvipur Congress MLA Brijendra Singh Rathod succumbed to the pandemic on May 2. The reports say Jugal Kishore Bagri was a five-time MLA of the BJP and he also had served as a minister of state in the BJP's tenure of 2003-2008. The back-to-back demises of the legislators have displayed that Madhya Pradesh had grimly caught by the second wave of the pandemic.
Though the state has a slight relief in sight with a steady decline in the number of new cases and positivity rate, Madhya Pradesh has horrendously been bracing up the surging graph of the active cases with the strong indication of a poor recovery rate. According to reports, the state has reported over 80,000 fresh cases in the past week - between May 4 to May 10 and during this period, the state had recorded about 60,000 recoveries.
According to the state health department, Madhya Pradesh has reported 9,715 fresh cases and 81 deaths on Monday and this is the first time since April 13 that the new cases have dropped below the 10,000 mark. With 1,11,223 active cases, the state has recorded 6,81,478 COVID-19 cases so far as of Monday while the total death toll stands at 6501. With the demise of three MLAs in the past 17 days due to the pandemic, Madhya Pradesh had lost four MLAs totally in the 15th assembly due to the pandemic so far.
Earlier in the first wave, Congress MLA Govardhan Dangi from Rajgarh had passed away due to the viral infection on September 15. On Monday, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Opposition Leader Kamal Nath had paid tribute to deceased MLA Jugal Kishore Bagri. On the other hand, the Chief Minister had visited Jabalpur on Monday and took stock of the COVID-19 relief works, and appealed to the people not to hide the symptoms.
He further spoke of the need to be alert of the possible third wave of the pandemic and to prepare for the safety of children who are likely to be impacted during the third wave. He said that the arrangements of additional beds for children will be made in all government medical college hospitals in the state.