Bhopal, May 28:

The Raj Bhawan in Bhopal has now been totally shut to outsiders after seven people living on campus tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday. A containment zone has been created involving a section of 10 houses within the Raj Bhawan campus.

One out of the seven positive cases was a peon working inside the Raj Bhawan. Senior Uttar Pradesh leader Lalji Tandon is the governor of Madhya Pradesh and had kept himself active officially through video conferencing during the lockdown period.

Besides the peon, the positive cases include a worker who washes and cleans the Raj Bhawan cars and his family.

On Thursday, a spokesperson for the Raj Bhawan said all staff members working at the Raj Bhawan would be tested for Covid-19. Gate number 1 and 3 have been closed and limited entry is being allowed through gate number 2, but only after approval from the officials.

Sources said that in the initial days of the lockdown, all provisions including groceries and vegetables for all Raj Bhawan staff were also being brought in as no one was allowed to go out. This arrangement lasted for about one month. However, the system became lax and employees were allowed to go out for their personal works.

There are a total of 64 houses for staff at the Raj Bhawan campus.

Shadow over cabinet expansion

The Covid outbreak at the Raj Bhawan has also put a shadow on the proposed cabinet expansion of the two-month-old Shivraj Singh Chouhan government. The much-awaited expansion was to take place in the next couple of days. Sources at the Raj Bhawan said that if the oath ceremony takes place, no one other than the ministers taking the oath is likely to be allowed inside. It could also be shifted to the lawns sometime in the evening, given soaring temperatures in the city. Bhopal recorded 40 degrees Celsius temperatures on Thursday.