Home minister Amit Shah tests Covid-19 positive, hospitalised

Union home minister Amit Shah on Sunday tested positive for coronavirus disease and was admitted to Medanta hospital in Gurugram.

Amit Shah, who is the first union cabinet minister to have tested positive for Covid-19, announced this on Twitter : “After showing initial symptoms, I underwent a test for coronavirus and the report came out positive. My health is fine but I am being admitted to the hospital on the advice of doctors”.

The home minister also requested those who came in his contact in last few days to isolate themselves and get tested.

Among those who have met Amit Shah in last few days and have gone into isolation are BJP leader Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and Babul Supriyo. Babul Supriyo tweeted “I had met Honble HM Amit Shah Ji day before in the evening. I am advised by doctors to confine myself, away from my family members, for the next few days with a test to be done soon”.

Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla, who was attending regular meetings with the home minister, few joint secretaries and Shah’s personal staff as well as security personnel deployed in his close proximity are also likely to be in isolation and undergo tests, government officials familiar with the matter said.

The officials added that Amit Shah has had a full schedule for the past few days: he was present at the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last Wednesday, in which the government approved the new National Education Policy . However, social distancing was strictly followed at the cabinet meeting at the PM’s residence, the officials said. “There is a strict protocol at PM’s residence in the last few months which includes temperature checks, analyzing a person’s status through Aarogya Setu app and proper hand sanitization,” said an official who didn’t wish to be named.

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During the last few days, Shah is learnt to have attended crucial meetings on security, party meetings and met several persons at his office. On Saturday, Shah addressed the Indian Council of Cultural Relations’ online conference on Bal Gangadhar Tilak, marking 100 years of the freedom fighter’s death August 1, 1920. While the conference was online, there was a physical component to it as well — and Sahasrabuddhe , who is also the head of ICCR, met Shah during this.

Shah was also supposed to attend the ground breaking ceremony of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on August 5, but the officials said that this seems difficult now.

There was no information available on how many leaders have been in touch with Shah in the last few days; the newly appointed state unit presidents of Haryana, OP Dhankar and Gujarat, CR Patil called on him on July 24.

Soon after the news of Shah’s Covid-19 positive result broke, several political leaders from various parties including Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Delhi chief minister Arving Kejriwal, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel among others wished him speedy recovery on their Twitter accounts.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh and BJP President J P Nadda too posted messages wishing him good health.

According to people familiar with the matter in Medanta, Shah is in no discomfort. He was admitted around 4.30pm in the internal medicine department and is under the care of Dr Suhsila Kataria.



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