Union Home Minister Amit Shah was hospitalised on Sunday after he tested positive for Covid-19.
Shah announced on Twitter: “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 that all of you who have come in contact with me in the last few days, please isolate yourself and get yourself tested.” He is being treated at Medanta hospital in Gurugram. The minister’s testing positive for Covid has put a question mark on the scale of the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya on August 5.
Shah attended a webinar on the 100th death anniversary of Lokmanya Tilak organised by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) on August 1 and was on the dais with Vinay Sahastrabuddhe, BJP MP and head of ICCR. Several other party functionaries also attended the function.
When Shah met Prime Minister Narendra Modi last is not known, but sources said the PM’s establishment follows strict social distancing and other norms, so it is unlikely Shah could have passed on the infection to him, even if the two had met. Most Cabinet meetings are being held by videoconferencing these days. The last one was held on July 29.
Government sources said it was highly unlikely that the ground-breaking event would be called off though it would probably be scaled down. “Earlier several ministers were reportedly going to attend the ceremony. But as we don’t know officially which ministers, the chances are that now, only Prime Minister Modi will go to Ayodhya along with UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. But everything is uncertain,” they said.
The pandemic claimed the life of a minister from Uttar Pradesh on Friday. Kamal Rani Varun, 62, died at Lucknow’s Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences in the morning. Last week, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tested positive for the virus. He has been in hospital for nine days, and tweeted today to say that he was well.
Tamil Nadu’s Governor Banwarilal Purohit has also tested positive for coronavirus, said Chennai’s Kauvery Hospital, where he has been admitted. He is asymptomatic and clinically stable, the hospital said.