NEW DELHI: India’s interior minister Amit Shah was hospitalised on Sunday after testing positive for the novel coronavirus.
Shah, a close aide to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and one of the country’s most powerful politicians, heads a key ministry that has been at the forefront of managing India’s coronavirus outbreak.
In a tweet, Amit Shah said he got tested after showing COVID-19 symptoms and requested those who had come in contact with him in the last few days to get tested and isolate themselves.
“On getting the initial symptoms of coronavirus, I got the test done and the report came back positive. My health is fine, but I am being admitted to the hospital on the advice of doctors. I request those who came in contact with me in last few days to get tested for coronavirus and isolate themselves,” Amit Shah tweeted.
The Governor of Tamil Nadu state Banwarilal Purohit also tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday. Purohit has shown mild symptoms and has been advised home isolation and will be monitored by a medical team.
Earlier in the day, Uttar Pradesh minister Kamal Rani Varun, who had earlier tested positive for the coronavirus, died due to the infection in Lucknow. Varun, aged 62, was the minister of Technical Education in the Uttar Pradesh cabinet.
More than two dozen Indian politicians, including legislators, have contracted the virus. On 25th July, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tweeted that he has tested positive for coronavirus.
Earlier BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia had tested positive. Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain also tested positive in June and was shifted to an intensive care unit when his condition deteriorated but made a full recovery.
The state of Maharashtra has had three cabinet ministers who contracted COVID-19 — former chief minister Ashok Chavan, Jitendra Awhad and Dhananjay Munde. There have been fatalities among politicians as Tamil Nadu lawmaker J Anbazhagan succumbed to the virus on 10th June.
India’s COVID-19 tally climbed to 1.75 million with 54,735 cases being reported in a day, while the death toll rose to 37,364 with 853 people succumbing to the disease in a span of 24 hours. This is the third consecutive day when coronavirus cases in the country have increased by over 50,000.