Veteran Congress leader and former Union minister P Namgyal was tested positive for coronavirus hours after his death in Ladakh, making him the first person to die of the infection in the Union Territory, officials said on Tuesday.
Namgyal, 83, who represented the Ladakh parliamentary constituency and the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council for three terms each, passed away after a brief illness at a hospital in Leh on Monday.
From 1960-73 and then from 1974-80, he remained a member of the then Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council until he got elected to the seventh Lok Sabha.
Four years later in 1984, he was re-elected to the Lok Sabha and served the Central government as Union minister between 1988 and 1989. He was elected to the Lok Sabha third time in 1996.
The Congress leader's sample was taken for COVID-19 test which returned positive, the officials said.
District Magistrate, Leh, Sachin Kumar Vaishya, constituted a three-member committee to inquire into alleged lapses in the protocol in handling of a COVID-19 case and alleged irregularities in handling the body of the deceased.
The officials said efforts are on to identify all the persons who have come in contact with the deceased leader for sampling. All these persons have been advised to stay in home quarantine, they added.
Four more persons tested positive for coronavirus in Ladakh on Tuesday, taking the number of such patients in the region to 81.
"A total of 21 samples were tested at COVID-19 Laboratory at Chuchot Yokma in Leh, out of which four have come positive. One positive report is of Leh district and three are of Kargil district," an official bulletin said.
It said the condition of all the 33 active cases of COVID-19 is stable. These include seven active cases in Leh and 26 in Kargil district.
Forty-seven patients- 34 in Leh and 13 in Kargil -have been cured and discharged from hospitals so far.