Amit Shah Tests Positive For COVID-19, Attended Cabinet Meet On Wednesday

Home Minister Amit Shah, 55, had taken part in a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, where all safety norms, including social distancing, were followed

Coronavirus Updates: India logged more than 17-lakh cases of COVID-19 today (File)

Highlights

  • Amit Shah said he was "fine" and was hospitalised on doctors' advice
  • The Union Minister has been admitted to Gurugram's Medanta hospital
  • Sources said extensive contract tracing will be carried out
New Delhi:

Union Home Minister Amit Shah has tested positive for coronavirus, which has infected more than 17 lakh people in the country. Sources said he has been admitted to Medanta hospital, located in Haryana's Gurugram near Delhi. In a tweet, the minister said his health was "fine" but he was being hospitalised "on the advice of doctors". He also requested that all those "who have come in contact with me in the last few days, please isolate yourself and get your inquiry done".

Sources said extensive contact tracing will be carried out and anyone who came in contact with the minister will have to self-isolate.

Mr Shah, 55, had taken part in a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, which was attended by all top ministers, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, defence minister Rajnath Singh, and finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman.  All safety norms, including social distancing, were followed at the crucial meet, where the National Education Policy was approved.

Sources said there is a strict coronavirus protocol at PM Modi's official residence, where cabinet meetings are held. Apart from the mandatory temperature check and the use of Aarogya Setu app, it also involves some extra measures. The use of cars inside the premises has been stopped.

While most of PM Modi's meetings are now held online, cabinet meetings are not virtual.

On Sunday afternoon, Mr Shah tweeted: "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 your inquiry done," Mr Shah's tweet in Hindi roughly said.

Union Minister Babul Supriyo, one of those who met the Home Minister over the last few days, tweeted, "I had met Honble HM Shri @AmitShah 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. Shall abide with all precautionary measures as per Rules & Protocol."

The country logged more than 17 lakh cases of coronavirus today - adding more than one lakh patients to the tally in just two days. The pandemic has claimed the life of a minister in Uttar Pradesh. Kamal Rani Varun, 62, died at Lucknow's Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences this 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. From his hospital bed, the Chief Minister tweeted a get-well-soon message for Mr Shah. "Home Minister Amit Shah, may God help you recover soon, so you can serve the nation with full energy. Our best wishes are with you," his tweet in Hindi read.

Tamil Nadu's Governor Banwarilal Purohit has also tested positive for coronavirus today, said Chennai's Kauvery Hospital, where he has been admitted. He is asymptomatic and clinically stable, the hospital said.

Over the last 24 hours, 54,735 cases of the disease were reported, taking the total number of cases to 17,50,723, data from the Health Ministry showed.

The spike came as the country rolled Unlock 3 - the third phase of lifting of restrictions - was rolled out last week. The government, however, is yet to open places which see a large gathering of people, including schools and colleges, cinema halls, swimming pools, bars and assembly halls. Many states announced lockdown in different degrees last month as numbers spiked.

It took just 185 days for India to cross the 17-lakh mark after the first case was reported in Kerala in January this year. The country had crossed the one lakh-mark in 110 days. More than 60 per cent of total cases in the country and over 50 per cent of total deaths have been recorded in July.