Hyderabad: The TRS MLA from Sirpur, Koneru Konappa, and his wife Ramadevi tested positive for COVID-19 on 26 August.
The couple is under self-isolation and will be going to Hyderabad for better treatment if needed. Meanwhile, the administration has advised all his staff and security personnel to isolate themselves and get tested in case they show any symptoms.
Mr. Konappa is the latest to join a host of TRS MLAs and ministers who tested positive for COVID-19, including Home minister Mahamood Ali, minister for labour Ch. Malla Reddy, and deputy Speaker T. Padmarao Goud. All of them have now recovered and resumed their duties.
Jangaon MLA Muthireddy Yadagiri Reddy was the first MLA in Telangana to test positive for coronavirus in June 2020. Former minister Jupally Krishna Rao tested positive for the virus a few days ago.
In March this year, Mr. Konappa who represents Kumram Bheem Asifabad had sparked controversy after he and his wife violated home quarantine rules and participated in public programmes in different parts of the district. The couple, who had just returned from the US after a month-long vacation, moved freely in public spaces, attending official functions where large crowds were in attendance. And all this without even wearing a face mask. The MLA was also seen going around shaking hands with people wherever he went. All the while, officials who were engaged in the COVID-19 awareness drive accompanied him. But given his past behaviour, nobody dared advise him on the situation in the state.
The couple had travelled to the US in February 2020 to meet their children. After the month-long visit, they had landed at the RGI airport in Hyderabad and after a day in the city, had travelled in an AC compartment of the New Delhi-bound Telangana super fast express from Secunderabad to Sirpur Khagaz Nagar. It was then found that after landing at the airport, the MLA and his wife had signed the ‘self-declaration’ form agreeing to the mandated 14-day self-quarantine.
After news of him violating quarantine rules went viral, the district health department issued orders directing Mr. Konappa and his wife to quarantine themselves. The order read, “…keeping public health in view as per the instructions from the government, you have to remain in the house for 14 days and not participate in gatherings and public meetings as per COVID-19 protocol as instructed by the state government.”